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Japan: The Cherry Blossom Empire
Do you want to enjoy an exciting experience, where cities become fairy-tale settings of blossoming trees and enchanting landscapes?
Fly to Japan on one of our Alitalia flights to Tokyo or Osaka and celebrate one of the world's most beautiful natural events: the blossoming of the sakura, the Japanese cherry tree. These trees don't produce any fruit, but are grown for ornamental reasons, to paint the rural landscapes and city parks in pastel shades, ranging from pure white to purple-pink.
According to the cherry blossom front, sakura zensen, which is reported by local weather reports in Japan, when the first buds (kaika) open varies, depending on the climate and the region. It usually begins in the subtropical Okinawa islands in January, reaching Kyoto and Tokyo between the end of March and the beginning of April, and arriving in Hokkaido a few weeks later.
From March to the end of May, with the arrival of spring, you can experience the elegant Japanese custom of hanami, which literally means "flower viewing," an event that is highly anticipated by the Japanese, and that attracts visitors from all over the world every year.
At night, lit up by traditional colored paper lanterns (chochin), hanami turns into yozakura, or "night cherry blossom," and the festivities continue with singing, dancing, street markets, mouthwatering delicacies and a constant flow of sake.
The most recommended places to celebrate hanami in Tokyo include: Ueno Park, one of the most popular parks, housing the National Museum and Ueno Zoo; Yasukuni Shinto Shrine, where you'll find Tokyo's most famous cherry tree, which marks the beginning of the blooming period; Chidorigafuchi Park, Sumida Park and Inokashira Park, where you can hire a boat or a paddle boat and admire the sakura that surround the Imperial Palace, or browse the various market stalls; Shinjuku Park, perfect for relaxing under the pink cherry tree blossoms; Yoyogi Park, near the Meiji-Jingu Shrine, the ideal spot for a picnic with friends; the Naka Meguro district, on the Meguro River, where a Sakura Festival is held at the beginning of April; and Koishikawa Korakuen, one of Tokyo's oldest traditional Japanese gardens.
If you choose to fly with Alitalia to Osaka, we recommend you visit Himeji Castle's park and gardens, near the Osaka Zohei Museum, on the bank of the O-kawa River.
In Kyoto, don't miss Maruyama-koen Park in the Higashiyama area, with its shidarezakura, or weeping cherry tree. In Nara, visit Mount Yoshino, whose cherry trees are celebrated in the famous Kokin Wakashu, a collection of ancient poems.
Cherry trees are sacred in Japan, and their flowers are a symbol of fragility, beauty and, at the same time, rebirth: an exhilarating explosion of life before nature takes its course. It has fascinated artists around the world, such as Russian author and dramatist Anton Chekhov, and painters such as Van Gogh, Manet, Renoir, Degas, Monet, Gauguin and many others.
On board our aircraft, you can enjoy all the comforts you need, to feel pampered and ready to discover all the wonders Japan has to offer.
Book one or more Alitalia air tickets to Japan, choose Tokyo or Osaka, make your flight experience even more enjoyable with our additional services and plan your dream trip to the Land of the Rising Sun, where tradition meets innovation, the land of emperors, samurais and geishas, as well as heroes from manga, anime and video games.
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