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Of all the beautiful sights in Japan, there is nothing quite like cherry blossoms blooming in spring. As soon as the winds of winter end, these tiny buds start growing and cities are filled with various shades of pink. However the cherry blossom season is very short, and just as soon as the sakura have come, they’re falling off the trees in a downpour of petals.

But when these petals fall into a river, or cover a paved street, another magical sight can be enjoyed. Let us show you another way you can enjoy cherry blossoms once they have blown off the tree with breathtaking pictures of hanaikada, cherry blossoms floating atop a river.

Sakura season is always majestic but painfully short-lived. It’s why endless poems have been written about them in the past since the blossoms are a perfect metaphor for the transience of human life. The Japanese often say the cherry blossoms are so beautiful, because the time we can enjoy them is so short.

With a gust of wind, the beautiful pink flowers lose their tenuous grip on the branches and fall en masse to the ground. How can you enjoy the sakura then?

Even among Japanese people, the word hanaikada (written in kanji characters as 花筏) isn’t a well-known word. It literally translates to “floral raft,” but why talk about it when pictures of hanaikada are more descriptive than words could ever be?

The fallen petals on a path are certainly beautiful as well. Japanese people call this sakura no jyutan (桜の絨毯) or “carpet of cherry blossoms.”

Tokyo has a couple of notable boat tours where you can float down the river on a sea of pink petals. Nakameguro River has a popular raft trip as does the Oyoko River. Aomori Prefecture in the northern part of Japan is also famous for their “carpet of sakura” which can be best enjoyed around Hirosaki Castle in Hirosaki Park.

Nakameguro River Hanaikada Cruise 2015
Dates: April 10 (Fri), 11 (Sat) and 12 (Sun)
Times: Morning Departure – gather at 10:00 am, Afternoon Departure – gather at 1:30 pm
Arrival/Departure Location: Kachidoki Pier (Kachidoki Executive Office)
Duration: 2 hours

Oyokogawa Hanaikada Cruise 2015
Date: April 9 (Thurs)
Time: gather at 11:00 am
Arrival/Departure Location: Kachidoki Pier (Kachidoki Executive Office)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Cost: 5,000 yen for adults, 2,500 yen for children (US $41.78, $20.89)

Hirosaki Castle, Hirosaki Park Sakura Forecast
Sakura Festival April 23 – May 6

If you are in any of these locations for cherry blossom season, don’t miss out on this whimsical journey. An extra boat ride might be a little pricey, but the memories and photos will surely last you a lifetime.

Source: Naver Matome
Featured Image: ©RocketNews24