El Sakura es la palabra japonesa para el cerezo, el árbol nacional del país oriental. Cuando florece en primavera sus campos, calles, jardines y todo aquel sitio donde haya un ejemplar plantado se tiñe de una pátina rosa, un espectáculo admirado por los residentes y millones de turistas.

Inclusive los japoneses tienen una palabra, hanami, para contemplar esta belleza natural. No es extraño en un país de una larga tradición de meditación, reflexión y organización de espacios y tiempos según filosofías como el feng shui.

El proceso de floración comenzará en la prefectura de Kochi el 17 de marzo, seguirá dos días después en Fukuoka y llegará a Hiroshima el día 22. Así el país, día a día, será invadido por las flores, hasta que la temporada finalizará en Sapporo, al norte del archipiélago, el 4 de mayo.

Dónde empezar la ruta del cerezo en flor
El punto de partida para seguir la floración en Japón puede ser en Kawazu, donde se inicia el proceso natural. En esta ciudad a 2.40 horas de Tokio hay cerca de 8.000 cerezos, que se caracterizan por sus grandes pétalos y el color rosa brillante.

Durante la celebración del festival de floración, que este año se celebra del 10 de febrero al 10 de marzo, más de un millón de turistas japoneses y extranjeros disfrutan del hanami en esta ciudad.
De día y de noche.

Desde Hiroshima el visitante puede tomar un tren hasta el puente Kintai, donde la floración se produce a partir del 25 de marzo. La imagen del río Nishiki al pasar debajo de esta construcción de madera, construido en 1673, es una de las postales más buscadas en el país.

Este es uno de los tranvías más antiguos de Japón, que acerca a los templos de Ninna-ji o el de Ryoan-ji, catalogados como Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la Unesco. Se estima que este año el 26 de marzo florecerán los primeros sakura en Kioto.

Otra opción de verlos de noche es en el Parque Takada, en la ciudad de Joetsu, sobre las costas del Mar de Japón. En un predio de 50 hectáreas se pueden observar cerca de 4.000 cerezos, que se iluminan cuando cae el sol.

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