For someone who hadn’t seen cherry blossoms ever in her life, the first time was special. I went around this time last year and got to witness the most beautiful views of Sakura, so fragile yet so beautiful.
If there were no cherry blossoms in this world,
How much more tranquil our hearts would be in spring.
– Ariwara no Narihira
Tradition of Sakuras
“The tradition was born in Japan more than a thousand years ago. People of the Imperial Court started hanging out under cherry trees every spring, taking advantage of the brief period when the blossoms burst into spectacular bloom. From there, the tradition spread to samurai culture and eventually all sorts of people in Japan were doing it.
Today, the whole country keeps a close eye on “the cherry blossom front” as warm weather arrives in the south and then sweeps north across the islands. During the week or two when the flowers are open, millions of people all over Japan have picnics under the trees, take photos, get drunk, fall in love. They call it Sakura Hanami.”
There is something about these cherry blossoms that makes me want to see them every year now. More like a tradition. They remind me that Spring is here and is full of hope to make every moment count now that summer is here. Sakuras usually last for not more than 2 weeks after full bloom.
Where to find them in Toronto?
- High Park (very crowded)
- Trinity Bellwoods Park
- Robarts Library (less crowded)
- Centennial Park
- Broadacres Park
- Toronto Island Park
The story behind Sakura Blossoms in High Park
The tradition came to Toronto in 1959. That year, the Japanese ambassador gave us two thousand Sakura trees — a gift from the people of Tokyo to the people of Toronto. It was a thank you for welcoming so many Japanese-Canadians to the city in the wake of the Second World War.
I went to High Park the first time and although it’s always super crowded here, me & Mr. Jeromy managed to get some nice shots while there. I would suggest you to go on this Cherry Blossom trip on a weekday than on a weekend if you would like to avoid the crowd. 🙂
Here are a few shots from the archive that I want to share here with you all.