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YumeTwins Kawaii Culture BlogThe Japanese Cherry Blossom Experience

The Japanese Cherry Blossom Experience

By Serena
April 28, 2022

Although it is very short lived, the sakura (cherry blossom) season in Japan is one of the most anticipated times of the year. The weather starts getting warmer, friends and family meet up to attend hanami (flower viewing picnics), and stores and restaurants have limited time items with cherry blossoms colors or flavors.

Unless you have spent time in Japan during the sakura season, some of the customs might surprise you. Here are some ways to experience the sakura season like many do in Japan.

Hanami

Hanami is exactly as the translation says. To experience hanami all you need to do is go outside and view some cherry blossoms. Of course a true hanami style picnic involves a little bit more than that. In Japan many people pack a special hanami bento (flower viewing lunch box) full of fluffy Japanese rolled omelets, inari sushi, fried chicken, and a special type of dango (sweet rice flour dumplings.

Check out our snack guide for making your own hanami bento. And, if you have cherry blossoms near you, why not try and have a Japanese style hanami picnic.

Games

For those who do not have cherry blossoms near them, there are many ways to still enjoy the cherry blossom season. Immersive experiences in video games, anime, and manga can bring the cherry blossoms to you.

Animal Crossing

For those who have a Nintendo Switch, Animal Crossing New Horizons is a great way to experience the Japanese season wherever you live. The cherry blossom season in Animal Crossing mirrors the season here in Japan in real time.

Love kawaii anime and games? Check out YumeTwins, the monthly subscription service for brand name kawaii goods straight from Japan! YumeTwins boxes can include items from Animal Crossing, Sanrio, Ghibli, Rilakkuma, and more!

Players in the Animal Crossing New Horizons game get to live on an imaginary island with many animal neighbors. As an Island Representative you live out your daily life while trying to maintain the beauty of the island as it changes with the seasons.

A popular season among players is the cherry blossom season. Trees on your island will turn a beautiful shade of pink for the first week and a half of April. The air will also be filled with cherry blossom petals as they float by. Equipe your net and grab a few as they fly by for materials to build cherry blossom themed DIYs.

Don’t have any cherry blossom recipes? Get your slingshot out and start hitting balloons as they fly by. Special balloons will drop different recipes for items such as a cherry blossom umbrella, cherry blossom wands, and different cherry blossom bonsai trees.

Anime

For those without a Nintendo Switch, you can always just watch some anime! Cherry blossoms are not only a beautiful and common visual, they are used heavily as a metaphor for many experiences, new beginnings and change are two common ones.

We picked our top 3 favorite hanami episodes in anime that really portray the Japanese cherry blossom experience. 

Polar Bear’s Cafe

The second episode of Polar Bear’s Cafe takes place during the cherry blossom season. The main cast consists of Polar Bear (who runs the cafe everyone frequents), Panda, Penguin, Llama, Sloth, and Ms. Sasako. They all decide to go have a hanami picnic together as the cherry blossom petals fall.

Unfortunately, Penguin has a lot on his mind and gets very drunk very fast during their picnic. Comedy and drama ensue as he tries to confess his feelings for a female penguin he has a crush on in front of everyone…except her of course.

Rilakkuma and Kaoru

In the very first episode of the Netflix series Rilakkuma and Kaoru, main character Kaoru prepares for a hanami picnic with her friends, only to get stood up! As she starts to spiral into self doubt Rilakkuma, Korilakkuma, and Kiirotori all come to her side to remind her that she has people who care about her!

Check out the blog to find out what our third pick is!

Seasonal Shopping

Rather do some shopping instead of anime? We got you covered! Here are some spring 2022 items in Japanese stores to help to keep the sakura theme going long after the last cherry blossom petals have fallen.

Sanrio Store Japan

The Sanrio Stores in Japan are often stocked to the brim with seasonal products at all times. The spring season is a treat as they have kawaii Sanrio cherry blossom and Easter themed goods, as well as specialty goods for any Sanrio characters with an April birthday.

Bad Badtz Maru and Pompompurin were two characters with birthdays in May and a special character spotlight. Check out our blogs to see what other kawaii Sanrio goodies you can get.

Spring Lolita Trends

If kawaii fashion is more your thing, then we have spring 2022 lolita fashion trends straight from the Harajuku shopping street for you. Just off of Takeshita Street you will find Angelic Pretty, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, and Alice and the Pirates who all have kawaii lolita releases for the spring season.

Want to explore the world of lolita fashion? YumeTwins has your back with both the history of the fashion style and hot, up to date trends. Check out styles like, Best Wishes, Girly Apples, and Humpty Dumpty!.   

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