SINGAPORE â Agoda.
com, Asia's leading hotel booking site and part of Nasdaq-listed Priceline Group (Nasdaq: PCLN), today announced special deals for Japan hotels just in time for sakura season.
The sakura flower, or cherry blossom, is an indelible part of Japanese culture and identity. Honored throughout Japanese history in art, poetry, and song, the delicate petals of this national emblem appear only briefly each year. Their arrival transforms bare winter branches into billowy clouds, inspiring an activity known as hanami.
Hanami is the practice of viewing sakura trees in full bloom â a custom adopted from third-century China, where the aristocracy would picnic beneath plum blossom trees. Today, hanami parties are staged wherever there are blossoming sakura to appreciate, with groups of friends, families, and colleagues gathering beneath the boughs to share food and listen to music.
Hanami begins in Tokyo parks and gardens towards the end of March, with the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido the last to come into bloom, sakura flowers appear from the middle to the end of May. Popular hanami foods include dumplings (dango) and bento box sets for their portability, while sake is also often enjoyed at nighttime viewing parties.
There are several locations across Japan where the cherry blossoms are best viewed. In Tokyo, Ueno Park has more than a thousand sakura trees. In Kyoto, the banks of the Kamogawa River are lined with cherry blossoms, and in Osaka, crowds gather at Osaka Castle where 4,000 sakura trees bloom throughout the gardens.
Agoda.com has some spectacular spring deals for travelers wishing to see sakura in bloom. The promotions listed below are for hotels in the top hanami spots in Japan â some deals available only for a few weeks.
AGODA.COM SUPER SAKURA HOTEL DEALS!
Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo 4* - 15% discount!
From US$138 per night. Must book within 7 days of check in date. Valid until August 31