It's spring in Japan and that usually means one thing: cherry blossoms.
It's a nationwide event, starting in the south western island and moving up northward through the country as the season progresses. There's even a name for this, because in Japan, there's a name for everything; hanami, which literally translates to "looking at flowers" is a nod to Japan's particular culture of taking time for appreciation. One of the coolest things I noticed was that it's something everyone takes a part in; it's not just tourists wandering around in awe of these precious petals, but locals too. It's common place for any park or historical site (like the Kokura Castle here in Kitakyushu) to be absolutely packed with groups of friends, cool couples, and cute families, sprawled out on mats and blankets for makeshift picnics. People arrive with coolers full of snacks and drinks to share, and there are often pop-up food stands nearby where you can grab a quick bite of something grilled, seared, or smothered in sauce. There are countless selfies taken, babies posed, and beer sipped under these delicate blooms. The season is short, and after a week or so the blossoms start to fall. On top of being breathtakingly beautiful, the ephemeral nature of this event is enough to get anyone outside to enjoy sakura season.
And now, for some nature porn. Enjoy ✌🏻