Hanami is a traditional event in Japan that implies the viewing of the cherry trees when they are in full bloom in Spring. But not just any cherry blossoms, but the Japanese Somei-Yoshino, a rare species of cherry trees that are purely decorative without developing fruits. Their sole purpose is to be beautiful in order to be admired.
In Japan, there is such a frenzy because of the Hanami, that many workers decide to take some days off work just so they can enjoy the beauty of the trees while going to the picnics with their families.
When I decided to move to the capital of Romania, I had in mind that I may have the chance to attend the outdoor party event for Hanami that takes place once a year in Bucharest. It is truly a magical event for my new city, as the Japan Ambassador comes and a lot of girls dress up in traditional yukata or kimonos just for this special event every year.
Unfortunately, due to the Covid current pandemic, this year I did not have the chance to attend this special party. But this clearly wasn’t meant to stop me to practice Hanami on my own, and enjoy every second of it.
The very moment I entered the Japanese garden in the park Herăstrău, I felt wonderstruck. There was a wondrous old Sakura tree that seemed to reign over the small garden that rounded the great entrance to the big garden. It was like a mother welcoming us to visit its dearest children and I felt my soul tremble at that very moment.
When I entered the big garden, I was instantly enraptured by its beauty. It had been my dream to see real Sakura Trees ever since I was 16. 7 years later, my dream came true. Nothing could have made me happier in the day after my birthday.
For Japanese people (which I have seen a lot of in our little intimate garden), the blossoming of the Sakura tree is seen as a sign of hope. Of renewal and rebirth of the nature. In this very trying times we are experiencing due to the Covid pandemic, we could all use some hope and peace into our lives. And this is exactly what I felt into our small but great garden doing Hanami. I have felt a deep sense of serenity and desire for beauty that both dazzled and terrified me. I could have stood in my little garden forever.
One of the greatest thing about the people from Bucharest is probably great amount by which they mind their business and get to enjoy themselves in every moment. So many people were laying under blankets to wonder under the beauty of the cherry trees. But so many other people were just laying on the grass itself. They were just enjoying the splendor of life. Nothing more, nothing less. And this has made me so utterly happy.
Reading under the Sakura trees while enjoying some delicious chocolate biscuits really has its own unique flavor. I have started reading a new book right under the reign of the flowers and I felt loved and protected through the whole process. Leaving felt so unnatural, but I knew it was necessarily in order to respect the Covid restrictions going on. When I left, I took one more look to that beautiful ethereal garden and I promised myself to go back every single year. I waved goodbye like I was leaving a very dear old friend.
To end this meaningful article, I will leave a symbolic picture I have taken below so you can truly feel a sense of the magic and beauty I have experienced. And next time you travel to Romania, make sure to schedule a visit to our beautiful cherry tree Japanese garden as well.
If you want to see more of the cherry blooms, you can surely find them in these outstanding animes from this thoughtful list.