Speakin’ Japanese: Sakura a symbol of spring in Japan

Speakin’ Japanese: Sakura a symbol of spring in Japan

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

A symbol of spring in Japan, cherry blossoms or “sakura” are enjoyed throughout Japan. The cherry blossom front moves from south (starting in February on Okinawa) to north, arriving on the Kanto Plain around the end of March and reaching Misawa by the end of April.

Under the gorgeous pale pinkish colors of branches, locals often sit down and enjoy their hanami party with sake, beer and all sorts of delicious food. So, as cherry blossoms get ready to bloom, make some plans to enjoy them with your Japanese friends. Here’s some Japanese words and phrases that will help you enjoy the cherry blossoms.

“Sakura wa itsu sakimasu ka?”When do cherry blossoms start blooming?
(“itsu” = when, “sakimasu” = bloom)

“Sakura no meisho wa doko desuka?”Where are some cherry blossom attractions?
(“meisho” = attractions, “doko” = where)

 “Sakura ga mankai desu.” = Cherry blossoms are in full bloom.
(“mankai” = in full bloom)

“Kirei desu!” = They are beautiful!
(“kirei” = beautiful)

“Ii nioi desu.” = They smell good.
(“ii nioi” = good smell)

“Watashi wa sakura ga daisuki desu” = I love cherry blossoms.
(“watashi” = I, “daisuki desu” = love)

“Sakura no shashin wo ippai tori mashita.” = I took a lot of photos of cherry blossoms.
(“shashin” = photo, “ippai” = a lot of, “tori” = take/shoot  )

“Hanami ni iki masen ka?” = Let’s go look at cherry blossoms, shall we?
(“hanami” = cherry blossom viewing/party, “iki masen ka?” = let’s go)

“Yozakura kenbutsu ni ikimasu.” = I will go to see cherry blossoms at night.
(“yozakura” = cherry blossoms at night, “kenbutsu” = view, “ikimasu” = will go)  

“Hanami wo shimasen ka?” = Let’s have a hanami party, shall we?
(“hanami” = cherry blossom party/viewing, “shimasen ka” = let’s do)

“Moo ippai ikaga desuka?” = How about another refill of sake?
(“moo ippai” = another refill (of sake), “ikaga desuka?” = how about)  
“Hanabira ga matte imasu.” = Petals are fluttering in the air.
(“hanabira” = petals, “matte” = flutter in the air)

“Totemo kimochi ga ii desu.” = It is very refreshing.
(“totemo” = very, “kimochi ga ii” = refreshing)

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