In what will be the 2nd cherry blossom season of the COVID-19 pandemic, local officials are requesting that people refrain from the revelry that usually accompanies the “appreciation” of the beautiful cherry blossoms at Hanami parties.
However, while last year people in Hiroshima were, like those all over Japan, asked from heading to cherry blossom spots altogether, this year, Hiroshima City government is taking a slightly more relaxed approach.
Today, the city put up signs at some 35 places that are popular locations for cherry blossom parties, including Peace Memorial Park, Hijiyama Park and Ogonzan outlining COVID-19 prevention measures that they urge blossom-lovers to abide by.
COVID-19 Cherry Blossom Party Restrictions
- Refrain from eating, drinking and speaking loudly.
- Stick to airy locations.
- Keep groups to 5 people or less.
- Keep a distance of 2m between groups.
- Keep gatherings to 2hrs or less.
- Don’t hanami if you are feeling unwell.
- Wear masks.
- Take any trash home with you.
The cherry blossoms have started to bloom earlier than on average and people were out in today’s warm weather enjoying chatting in small groups below some of the trees that are already blooming in Peace Memorial Park. Who knows, without all the beer, sake, yakitori and karaoke, this year might be a great year for actually enjoying the blossoms after a year in which we were all forced to contemplate the impermanence of life which they are said to represent.
Events and Sakura Festivals
We are still gathering information about whether cherry blossom events and festivals will be held in some form, but we are please to announce that the annual light up of the cherry blossoms in Shukkeien Garden, which was cancelled last year, will go ahead with COVID-19 prevention measures in place from March 22. Click here for more details.