There is something truly magical about hanami (flower viewing) season in Japan. Weeks beforehand they will have ‘sakura’ trackers on the news, it’s like the weather predictions, they show a map of the country and exact dates when they expect the sakura to start to bloom and when they will be at their peak, in each part of the country.
And then, as soon as those first cherry blossoms start to show their faces, people will go out in the middle of the night to spread out their tarp to reserve their picnic spot under their favorite tree. When you go out during this time of year you will see people sitting on tarps eating together, even if there’s only a single tree!
Especially in the larger parks hundreds of people will gather, there will be food stalls and the alcohol often flows freely, especially at night, when the trees are all lit up. What I love most about this is how neat and tidy it all is. These amazing people will always bring a blanket or tarp to sit, they will always take off their shoes before stepping onto said tarp and they will never, ever leave any trash behind!
Can you imagine the horror these wonderful tidy people must have felt at seeing me and my original artworks just sitting there like that, on the dirty ground!
Learning these quirky cultural rules can really enhance your appreciation and make the beauty of Japan feel even more meaningful. Don’t you just want to step into one of my paintings to experience this beauty for yourself?
What is ONE thing you learned that gave you a new appreciation for a foreign country?