Celebrate Japan’s Spring season in style
Flower viewing known as “hanami” is a traditional Japanese affair that welcomes the arrival of Spring by appreciating the view of cherry blossoms in bloom. For centuries, these delicate flowers have been depicted as a symbol of life itself, for spring is often a time for locals to gather and reflect on life’s fragility and fleeting beauty.
Hoshino Resorts’ onsen ryokan brand KAI will offer “Stylish Hanami Tours” at 14 of their resorts across Japan. If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing Japan’s most iconic flower in person, here are four unique ways that you could enjoy the spring season in style.
Enjoy soba like a feudal lord under a cherry tree
In front of KAI Izumo—an onsen ryokan with open-air baths in every room—is a river lined with over 350 cherry blossom trees. From the 1st – 20th April, guests are invited to participate in a “Cherry Blossom Excursion” which will take them on a traditional rickshaw ride to enjoy a picnic of warigo soba underneath the cherry trees. Warigo soba is said to have originated when a feudal lord enjoyed eating his soba from a multi-level box outside.
Relax and learn how to play the Shamisen
Surround yourself by seven weeping cherry trees in a secluded garden of KAI Tsugaru, an onsen ryokan located in Japan’s northern Aomori Prefecture. In the first week of May, guests can relax underneath the cherry blossom trees where they will be treated to apple pie and cider, and taught to play “Sakura Sakura” on a traditional three-stringed traditional Japanese instrument.
Experience hanami like a traveller from the Edo period
Located in a mountain pass, Hakone is a revered onsen town where bloom periods last for a longer time due to the elevation and many varieties of cherry blossoms that grow there. Wearing traditional clothing, guests of KAI Hakone can experience hanami like a traveller from the Edo period. They can visit flower viewing spots such as Gora Park and eat traditional sweets and dishes made in the Hakone yosegi style.
Immortalise the view of blossoms in a landscape drawing
Onsen lovers visiting Hakone could have the opportunity to capture 150 Yoshino cherry trees lining the banks of the Haya River in their very own landscape drawing. KAI Sengokuhara—an art-themed ryokan that inspires visitors to explore their creativity—will arrange for staff with art knowledge to accompany and assist guests with their drawing, making sure they get the colour of the cherry blossoms just right!
For more information about Hoshino Resorts KAI and its array of properties and cultural activities on offer, visit: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/brand/kai/
About Hoshino Resorts
Hoshino Resorts was established as a family business in 1904 and has grown into one of the largest Japanese-owned and operated resort brands with 41 resorts across Japan, and two resorts in Bali, Indonesia and Guguan, Taiwan. As Japan’s premier resort company, Hoshino Resorts specialises in operating Japan ryokans (traditional Japanese inns) and hotels and offers unique Japanese cultural experiences specific to each region. The company remains proudly family-owned, offering a diverse range of Japanese accommodation, cuisine and culture to visitors.
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