As winter fades and spring looms, the Japanese people prepare for the japanese cherry blossom season and all the joy and hope that it brings to the Japanese soul.
It's hard to do justice to the deep feelings that the cherry blossom trees in japan engender in the people who live there. In may ways, it's an interior reminder to the Japanese people of how important nature and Japanese traditional culture is to them and their children. And because you could argue there are no Japanese religions practiced anymore, the appreciation of nature is a kind of neo-pagan spiritual practice for the Japanese.
On a purely visible level, the pink blossoms of the japan cherry blossom are stunning, particularly when the japanese cherry blossom trees are lined up along a river as they so often are in Japan. To look down a row of such elegant colorful trees is enough to stir anyone's heart; yet for the Japanese people, this annual display is more about interior appreciation than the stimulation of the senses.
The cherry blossom in japan reminds people that though the country is now a very urban, technological place, the heart of Japan remains very much in tune with nature, much like the Haiku poets of old - like Basho - who wrote so beautifully of nature.
And while you'll see Japanese people setting up their tarps under the japan cherry blossom to sit with friends and drink, don't forget that it is not simply a sensual activity for the Japanese people, but also a profoundly culture act that is deeply embedded in the Japanese spirit and nation.