Sunny days in the tropics is always beautiful. All year round the Philippines is blessed with sunshine. And heat. Perhaps this is why many of the travelers prefer to visit another country during the cool or cold season. The drop in temperature will be a welcome change.
Wintertime may be lovely. but my physical make-up does not agree with the coldness of the season. I have no bouts with summer and the heat. In fact, it’s my ideal travel time. Summer is when the luggage is at its lightest, winter the opposite.
Springtime travel is as best as summertime. It’s a nice weather for easy dressing. No bulky winter clothes, no bloated faces unfit for selfies. Just throw in a couple of sweaters to the usual summer picks and you’re good, at least that’s how I pack.
Japan is one of my favorite destinations especially at springtime. The weather has a nice chill to it. Spicing the visit is the Sakura. It’s when the cherry blossoms cast its magic. Across the country, the Sakura fills the landscape with cloud-like blooms of pink and white. It’s heavenly.
The phenomenon may just be the best reporter for the shift of seasons. The flowers only start to bloom once the temperature is right for it to do so. If it’s too cold the buds won’t budge.
Sakura’s beauty is fleeting. The life of the flowers lasts for only fourteen days from the onset of bloom until it falls off. Seven days for it reach its peak bloom and another seven days to mesmerize us all.
Its farewell note is as exciting. The Cherry Blossom tree will let you walk on a carpet of petals as it bids you farewell.
The period of the Sakura is probably one of the most expensive time to visit Japan. It’s so popular among local and international tourists that it is recommended to book hotel stays months ahead.
Yes, you read that right, even Japanese people turn into tourists during Sakura season. Each prefecture across Japan has its own “Best Hanami Spots” list. Hanami, the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers, is a sensation in Japan. Each area has its own charm and to visit as many as one can would be an achievement in some way.
I’ve visited a good number in the Tokyo list and managed to hop from one city to another to chase the blooms. I’ve seen the cherry blossoms in its full glory and walked the pink or white carpet of petals when it reached its last term.
My most recent visit was March of this year. The “Sakura hop” took me to a few more spots in the prefectures of Saitama, Gunma & Tochigi. It wasn’t my first springtime visit in Japan and it won’t be the last.
Yes, there are Cherry Blossom trees in the different parts of the world. But in Japan it is special. It is a celebration.
You know where to find me next spring.
P.S. Spring is the season for strawberries, too. The strawberry flavors the popular desserts of Japan sold only during the season. That’s for another good reason to visit Japan in spring.
Also published in the SunStar Davao newspaper.
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