Goodbye winter, konnichi wa spring! For those in Japan, the beautiful and elegant cherry blossom season began in March this year. Cherry trees come into flower in early spring. Cherry blossoms in Toowoomba can be seen mostly in the Japanese Gardens, Darling Heights and the Queens Park Botanic Gardens. These pretty pink flowers are about to blossom, in approximately one or two days.
In Tokyo, outside the Yasukuni Shrine lives a Someiyoshino tree which, when it flowers, marks the official start of the cherry blossom season. The tree is purported to be the first one to bloom each year. The cherry tree does well in cooler climates.
A previous spring's blossoms in the Botanic Gardens.
The cherry tree is of the genus 'prunus'. The prunus serrulata is the best-known cherry tree in Japan and is commonly called 'Sakura'. You may have heard pieces of music by that name which are dedicated to these blossoms.
The Sakura teaches of Japan's history, culture and the identity of the Japanese people. By April, the blossoms are at the peak of their beauty, though they can flower as early as January in Okinawa, or as late as May in the cooler Hokkaido. Other flowers are also celebrated all over Japan, especially the plum blossoms.
A cherry blossom viewing party is called a 'hanami' which translates as 'flower viewing'. These centuries-old parties are held day or night and can get noisy and crowded. Paper lanterns are hung. Older Japanese prefer the more peaceful plum viewing party. If you ever travel to Japan for this special season, they will say 'yokoso' - welcome.
Cherry blossoms in the Japanese Gardens, Regent St, Darling Heights.
Toowoomba has a sister city in Japan, Takatsuki. A sister city is a relationship which enhances cultural exchanges and fosters business opportunities. It also promotes cultural diversity and enriches our community. Many Japanese students come to study at the University of Southern Queensland.
The beautiful blossoms in Toowoomba are worth seeing. As the Garden City, Toowoomba celebrates spring with the Carnival of Flowers each year. In 2020, the carnival begins on 18 September (to 27th).
As well as viewing the breathtaking display of the cherry blossoms, you could also celebrate by creating origami cherry blossoms. They are surprisingly beautiful.
There are other gorgeous blossom trees around Toowoomba including a lovely blossom avenue in Laurel Bank Park, City and at the University of Southern Queensland near the ring road Japanese Gardens entrance, plus a row of what looks like almond blossoms in 'Eat Street', the city.