Hanami (花見, “viewing flowers”) is the traditional Japanese custom of enjoying the ephemeral beauty of flowers; in this case, flowers (“hana”) almost always refer to those of the cherry tree (“sakura”) or, less often, those of the plum tree (“ume”).
From late March to early May, cherry trees blossom all over Japan, and around 1 February on the island of Okinawa, and you see the most beautiful pictures passing by on Facebook and Instagram. But you can also enjoy the cherry blossom in Utrecht!
“Utrecht has a tree map, the bomenkaart,” Jenny explains. “There are many species of cherry blossoms, but in Oog in Al there are e.g. that also grow in Japan. So there are many kinds of Prunuses that grow there and not here and vice versa. In the Vogelenbuurt, you also have streets full of blossoms with a species you don’t find in Japan.”
Visit Bomen | Gemeente Utrecht to see the tree map.
Jenny: “So I look up the Latin name on the map under that funnel and then if you slide that button to the right, you can see where they are.”
Hint: de Latijn names of the Japanese cherry blossoms are Prunus serrulata, Prunus jamasakura, Prunus speciosa and Prunus xyedoensis. You still have subspecies like the ‘Kazan’, but they are neatly listed below each other on the map.
Want to meet up with other Japan Fans to go on a cherry blossom walk together? Then connect via our Facebook group: