Spring is slowly but surely sweeping across Japan. And every year it brings…well hay fever for the unlucky. But also FLOWERS! Tourists from all over the world visit Japan to enjoy cherry blossom viewing.
According to government data, last April saw a record high of almost 3 million foreign visitors. And from January to April of 2019, 10.9 million foreign tourists spent some time in Japan.
Those numbers are certainly in no small part due to Japan’s well-known cherry blossoms. From sakura-centered night-time illumination shows, sakura flavored donuts, Starbucks drinks, to curry and hot dogs, sakura is the unequivocal symbol of spring and its influence reigns supreme. Link here for endless sakura-themed articles from grape Japan.
Now, I love sakura just as much as the next person. But my friends and I seem to misidentify the flowers every single year. It’s certainly one great excuse to talk to Japanese people and make friends.
“Sumimasen, kore wa nan no hana desu ka? Sakura desu ka?”
I suppose some of you reading this may think I’m a fool. You’re all like, “Hah, he can’t tell apart sakura from ume.” And yes, you’re right. That’s why I’m writing this article. Call it a bit of self-study. And I’m also here to raise all of your flower-identification skills as well.
Below is Exhibit A. I ask you, is it sakura (cherry blossom) or ume (plum blossom)?
If you guessed sakura, you’re wrong. And if you guessed ume, you’re not right either. Hah! Did I trick you? (I do feel a bit guilty about resorting to trickery, but I need to prove my point)
Some may have realized this flower is actually momo, or peach blossom.
The rest of the article can be viewed on our partner’s website, grape Japan at ”Cherry, Peach, and Plum Blossoms – Can You Tell Them Apart?“