Cherry blossom plans cancelled? Here’s a new one: doing hanami at home with these beautiful photos.

Not that there’s ever a good time for a global pandemic, but the coronavirus outbreak coinciding with the blooming of the cherry blossoms has been especially sad for Japan. Ordinarily, right now Japan’s parks would be full of groups and friends and coworkers having hanami (cherry blossom-viewing) parties, enjoying the flowers, food, and drink as they relax on tarps spread out beneath the branches of the sakura trees. This year, though, most people have cancelled such plans as part of the effort to avoid social gatherings.

But even if there aren’t any cherry blossoms parties, there are still plenty of cherry blossoms. To help boot the spirits of those looking for a way to enjoy at-home hanami, Japanese Twitter users have been sharing their best sakura photos, with the hashtag #ツイッターお花見2020 /”#Twitter Ohanami 2020”, like with this example from @zaki_3_0257.

Some of the photos are ones taken this year, while passing through empty parks or down deserted tree-lined streets, while others are from previous sakura seasons.

Tokyo’s Shinjuku Gyoen garden, at dusk, last year

Some cats enjoying hanami one year ago

With the cherry blossom being Japan’s most iconic flower, photos of sakura in Kyoto, the country’s cultural heart, are proving especially popular.

▼ Kyoto’s Yasakadori cobblestone slope

▼ More from Kyoto: Fushimi Jikkobune canal boat, Keage Incline, Ninenzaka, and Kiyomizudera Temple

That’s not to say that Japan’s current capital, Tokyo, is devoid of beautiful sakura scenery, though. The Imperial Palace’s moat at Chidorigafuchi, for example, is breathtaking by day or night.

While other people are few and far between, some of the photos show local wildlife, like this mejiro (Japanese white-eye) perched among the blossoms.

Then there’s this clever artist who uses the traditional craft of kirie (pictures formed by paper cutting) to add a human touch.

Some otaku also shared sakura stroll snapshots starring their anime girl figurine companions.

Unfortunately, with the flowers already in bloom for 2020, and the cherry blossoms only staying on the branches for a week or two before they start to fall, there’s really zero chance of the coronavirus situation being under control enough for people in Japan to have anything like a normal sakura season this year.

But it’s important to remember that the sakura will be back, and so right now the best thing to do is stay safe and make sure you’ll be here next spring too.

Source: Twitter via IT Media
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