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IN HAMAMATSU.COM Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan Visitor Guide

IN HAMAMATSU.COM Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan Visitor Guide Hamamatsu


Springtime in Japan begins with Ohanami!


As cherry blossoms, a national flower of Japan, begin to bloom, "Ohanami" scenes are seen in various parks. People come together and drink tea, alcohol, eat together and enjoy themselves under these beautiful flowers. There are numerous kinds of "Hana (flowers)", but "cherry blossoms" are a must for Japanese Hanami. In addition, "cherry blossom" is a synonym for "spring" in Japan. Come out and enjoy the warmth of spring under these cherry blossoms!


History of Ohanami

It is said that Ohanami began as a farmer's feast before the busy season, taking a break and praying for a good harvest in the next season. Since there were no calendars at that time, the flowering of cherry blossoms played an important role in letting the farmers know it was time to begin planting seeds. Furthermore, it was said that if the colors of the cherry blossoms were faded, the weather would be good that summer, or if there were many white flowers, harvest would be good. The flower was used to forecast that year's harvest. They were closely tied to the lives of farmers.
During the Heian period, the nobility began to note the beauty of this flower. It became customary for them to enjoy banquets under these trees. In no time, these occasions became something they looked forward to.
During the Edo period, as the basis of government switched to Edo style, many trees were planted in various locations. The general population began to enjoy the beauty of cherry blossoms, which led to the modern customs of Ohanami.

Sakuramochi and Ohanami dango

During Hanami season, we often see sakuramochi and ohanami dango on sale. It is said that when Hideyoshi Toyotomi hosted a large-scale Hanami, he provided everyone with sweets. This began the customs of eating sweets during Hanami.

There are two types. One is the Kanto-style made with baked flour wrapped around a rice cake, like a crepe. The other is the Kansai-style made with steamed and dried mochi-rice, covered by coarsely ground wrap. Both kinds are wrapped with cherry blossom leaves soaked in salt. One theory suggests that a gatekeeper of a shrine suggested such use for leftover cherry blossom leaves. FYI, most sakuramochi found in Hamamatsu is Kansai style.
Ohanami dango
A pink, white, and green dango on a stick is called ohanami dango. There are many theories as to why these colors were chosen. One suggests that pink and white are said to bring good luck, and green is known to repel evil. Another suggests it's a play on words. The pink represents "cherry blossom" of spring, white represents "snow" of winter, and green represents "plants" of summer. Since autumn ("aki" in Japanese) is missing, it is "Aki-nai" ("Nai" means missing). "Akinai" also means, "You do not get tired of it" in Japanese. FYI, in the old Japanese saying, "Hana yori dango" (translates to "dango over flowers", meaning practical over the aesthetic), it is said that "hana" refers to the cherry blossom flowers, while "dango" refers to the ohanami dango.

Ohanami spots of Hamamtsu


Hamamatsu Castle Park
Cherry blossoms Festival and Lit up in the night
Thursday, Mar. 21th to Sunday, Apr. 7th 2019
Details for :

Hamamatsu city museum
Cherry blossoms Festival
March 27 (Sat), 28 (Sun), April 3 (Sat), 4 (Sun), 2021

Details for :

Flower park
Lit up in the night
March 25 (Thu) - April 4 (Sun), 2021

Details for :
Lake Hamana Flower Festa 2021
March 20 (Sat) - June 13 (Sun), 2021

Details for :

Okuyama Park ※Near the entrance of Okuyama Houkouji

Okuyama Kogen
Okuyama Hansoubo Cherry blossoms Festival
Sunday, Mar. 31th 2019

Details for Okuyamo Houkouji:
Details for:

Miyakodagawa Sakuradzutsumi MAP
The Princess Road Procession
March 27 (Sat), 2021 (This event will be held online in 2021)

Details for :
Official site : (Japanese)

Gansuiji MAP
Cherry blossoms Festival
April 3 (Sat), 4 (Sun), 8 (Thu), 2021
Lit up in the night
Sunday, Mar. 24th to Saturday, 30th 2019
Official site : (Japanese)
There are many other great locations to enjoy cherry blossoms. It is not too much to say that cherry blossoms = spring. Let's go out and enjoy the glorious scene of Sakura, only available for a limited time!
2021.3.25 update
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