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Spring in Japan: ways to spend it


Hello everyone! I am back with another article. Have you ever wondered what is it like to experience spring in one of the most beautiful countries in the world? With the ongoing global pandemic, travelling overseas is much more difficult now. In that case, here is an article that would allow you to experience what Spring in Japan is like that would hopefully be helpful if you ever want to visit Japan in the springtime. 

To ensure a smooth reading experience, this article will be separated into different sections that will cover various food and activities that the locals partake in. 

To start off, when does springtime in Japan start? In Japan, spring starts around March and ends around late June. Spring represents a sign of new life and a fresh start, which is why Japanese people celebrate this special period with various traditions and activities, and indulge in springtime food. 

1. Bamboo shoots

When it comes to springtime food, most Japanese people would indulge in bamboo shoots, the most commonly eaten spring vegetable. Not only is it delicious, but it can also be easily prepared and be eaten with almost anything, which makes it an all time favorite among Japanese people. Just eat is as it is or pair it with a bowl of steaming hot rice and you are ready to experience the flavors of spring.

2. Asari clams

In a country that boasts several beautiful oceans, it is no doubt that seafood would be among the list of food that the Japanese enjoy. As waters begin to grow warmer with regards to the arrival of spring, eager fishermen would fish out clams. Clams are one of the most versatile additions to daily meals. You can find them in miso soup, steamed with spring onions or fried in butter. Not only are these the only way to enjoy these clams, but the locals would also sometimes choose to steam the clams in sake, which helps to create a harmony of flavors when combined with mirin and spring onions. 

 3. Strawberries

Strawberries are undoubtedly the king of fruits during springtime in Japan. Called "ichigo" in Japanese, this fruit is so versatile that there are numerous food that you can create just from strawberries alone. In Japan, you can expect a wide variety of strawberries- from the commonly seen red strawberries to sweet, large, and even white strawberries. When spring rolls around, the aisles of Japan's supermarkets would be shining with brilliant shades of bright red, all full of the deliciousness like no other. 

Even though you can consume the fruit as it is, most Japanese would also choose to purchase food items that contains strawberries, such as ichigo daifuku, mochi filled with red-bean paste and stuffed with a strawberry in each mochi. This strawberry food can only be usually available between winter and spring, which is what makes it a special springtime food. 

 4. Sakura mochi

What is spring without sakura? Sakura plays a major part in spring culture in Japan, which is why you could easily find many things that includes cherry blossoms. Among all the cherry blossom sweets that the Japanese would indulge in, the strawberry mochi would be one of more well known sweets. The sakura mochi is a pink rice cake that is wrapped in salted leaves of the cherry tree and filled with a sweet red-bean paste. 

5. Hinamatsuri 

Hinamatsuri is an important festival in Japan that is celebrated on the 3rd of March, where it seeks to protect female children and to pray for their well-being and success in life. It is sometimes referred to as "girls' day" or "dolls' day" in English. 

To celebrate, locals would follow the tradition of setting up red carpeted materials that are used to display ornamental dolls and floating dolls down the river. The dolls are placed on different platforms according to the different levels of importance and categorization. 

6. Flower viewing 

Flower viewing, better known as hanami, is a festival that celebrates the blooming of the flowers and the arrival of spring. After the long winter, cherry blossoms bring joy to the locals with its beautiful and bright colors. 

Some people would choose to have a picnic under the sakura trees while enjoying a special hanami bento box, which are often eaten at flower viewing parties and feature items like sushi rolls that are known as makizushi, tamagoyaki, a Japanese style omelet, inarizushi (fried tofu pockets filled with rice), fish cakes known as kamaboko as well as fried and grilled dishes. 

There are many great spots in Japan for flower viewing parties including festivals and restaurants. Night flower viewing is also a great way to spend the night. Apart from just flower viewing, cherry blossom festivals are also usually held across the country, allowing locals and tourists to view the flowers while indulging in delicious food and drinks.

7. Cycling 

Cycling is a great way for anyone to explore the country, and spring is possibly the most ideal season for cycling in Japan. With perfect weather and a scenic view all around, cycling is one of the best ways to get around and do some sightseeing. 

In many regions of Japan, It is possible to do some long distance cycling- from easy roads to challenging uphill climbs that would provide cyclists with spectacular views of the nature Japan has to offer that can only be discovered through cycling. 

8.  Strawberry Picking 

Strawberry picking is a popular activity among families, couples and friends. This concept has been popular for quite some time, and many farms in Japan offers the opportunity for strawberry picking. Many hotels also hosts strawberry dessert buffets for a limited time. 

One of the most popular venue to indulge in an all-you-can-eat strawberry buffet would be at ANA Inter-Continental Tokyo, a hotel that serves at least over 30 different kinds of creative strawberry desserts. 

9. Festivals 

Known as "matsuri" in Japanese, there are plenty of festivals throughout Japan from spring to summer. In spring, the biggest festivals includes Sanja Matsuri, Kanda Matsuri, as well as Takayma Matsuri. The most popular festival would be Sanja Matsuri, which usually takes place over the third full weekend in May. The festivals are a great way to get to know more of traditional Japanese culture while getting to eat many delicious food. 

10. Camping

Spring is the most favorable time of the year for some outdoor camping. Camping is especially popular among younger Japanese and those young at heart. Camping around Mount Fuji to experience the moment where the sun rises on top of the mountain makes Mount Fuji a popular camping destination among campers. To date, there are at least 3,000 campsites across the country, making camping a popular spring activity in Japan. 

Thank you for reading this article! I hope that this article will help you gain a little more insight of what spring is like in Japan. 

Until next time, 


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