I think I can safely say that the cherry blossoms are the most popular flowers in Japan. We have lots and lots of sakura cherry trees in our country and we absolutely love them.
I heard that they are in full bloom now. My sister in Tokyo has sent us a photo. You get to see cherry blossoms even in the middle of Tokyo.
Many of us enjoy “hanami”, literally meaning flower viewing and is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers, “flower” in this case almost always meaning cherry blossoms (“sakura”) . Hanami mostly consists of having an outdoor party beneath the sakura during daytime or at night. We spread out picnic blankets and enjoy eating and drinking, sometimes singing and even dancing.
I cannot stop thinking about cherry blossoms this time of year. It brings me sweet memories of my childhood.
Each cherry flower is small, delicate and pretty, but in full bloom, you can sense the strong power of the Mother Nature.
You can dye pink with cherry tree barks. What is the most fascinating about this dye is that you can achieve this pink colour only when the tree is in bloom. The power within the tree to become pink can dye fabric pink. How amazing.
These flowers are used mostly for decorating cookies, chiffon cake of jelly. You can use them for savory dishes, too. My favorite is just to let them float on green tea or better, Japanese rice wine, Sake.
You can buy them online:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Salt-Pickled-Sakura-Cherry-Blossoms/dp/B00A3ANO0U
We have a cherry tree in front of our house. It isn’t showing any sign of flower yet, but it blooms in late May and bears fruit in summer. I may have a go at making preserve with the flower this year.