The arrival of the cherry blossom season is a big event in the whole of Japan as it heralds the arrival of spring, and symbolises the fleeting nature of beauty. Spring is especially welcome in this region as it means another long winter of deep snow has been endured.
If you are a keen photographer, here are a couple of suggestions of great places to see cherry blossom in Snow Country. This area tends to have them blooming while there is still snow around in the surrounding mountains, but there are plenty of great places to go all over the region.
Historical Cherry Blossom in Minakami. Kenshin no Sakasa Zakura
Spring in Snow Country is a time of celebration. Traditionally after a winter of pickled or preserved vegetable the new green shoots of the mountain vegetables are a real delicacy, and even to this day, are highly prized. It is also a time for festivals as people enjoy cherry blossom viewing and other seasonal events. Before the tunnels under the mountain could easily transport people during any season, Snow Country was practically inaccessible when the snow began, but spring saw the mountain passes open up again. Tokamachi Kimono Festival is one event that is worth a visit in Spring.
However is not just about celebrations and relaxation. After the winter, the hard work begins again. As the snow melts the rice fields become visible again, and the cyclical pattern of life in Snow Country means preparations must begin again for next winter. In this modern age, fruit and vegetables are readily available all year round in the supermarkets, but many people still grow their own to eat, pickle, and preserve. Local and organic are still important aspects of Snow Country cuisine with many families and restaurants growing and serving their own rice and pickles. Even if you don’t have the space or time to grow your own almost all supermarkets have sections of produce straight from the local growers so it is possible to enjoy the taste of locally grown vegetables.