SINGAPORE – Agoda.com, one of Asia’s leading hotel booking sites and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group (Nasdaq:PCLN), is offering great hotel deals to celebrate Japan’s famed sakura season – known commonly outside of Japan as the cherry blossom season – one of the country’s most popular and beautiful annual events.
The cherry tree – its scientific name is Prunus serrulata – can be seen throughout Japan in great numbers that for most of the year sit silently in the background. Come spring, the trees erupt with blossoms in a wave that moves slowly from the southern district of Okinawa to the northern island of Hokkaido, creating lush pink, white, and red canopies in parks and along streets throughout the country. In addition to being extremely beautiful, the blossoms are highly symbolic of life, death, unity, and the pursuit of perfection, all significant elements in Japanese culture.
Predicting the date of the blossom arrival is somewhat of a sport and guessing game in Japan. This year the Japanese weather service has said the best viewing areas will be in Fukuoka during the last week of March, moving slowly north and finishing up near Iwaki, about 200km north of Tokyo in early April. They can be seen further north than this, but the colder weather makes their appearance less predictable.
When the blossoms arrive, crowds of people gather in favorite spots to take photos, stroll among the colors, and partake in hanami, a centuries-old custom of picnicking in the shade of a tree in full bloom. Photo shoots for weddings are a common sight, and couples dressed in traditional kimonos mingle with suit-and-tie businessmen as they relax after a long day in the office.
To help celebrate the beauty of the sakura season, Agoda.com is providing great deals on hotels in some of Japan’s top sakura destinations. Click here to see the full list, and start planning your sakura vacation!