Phrases for Hanami {Cherry Blossom} Season

When studying Japanese, you’ll come across many sakura-related words and phrases, which are often used as seasonal words (“kilo”) These are some of the most used phrases when Hanami season arrives in Japan.

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Hatsu-zakura (初桜)

The first (“hatsu”) sakura flower to bloom in a year; an early-blooming sakura

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Hana-doki (花時)

The time (“toki”) when sakura bloom

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Sakura-zuki (桜月)

Another name for the third month, Yayoi, of the old lunar (“tsuki” means “moon”) calendar

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Hana-dayori (花便り)

Tidings or news (“tayori”) of sakura blooming

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Sakura-gari (桜狩り)

The act of visiting various cherry blossom spots, of appreciating sakura, or simply going for hanami (“flower viewing”)

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Sakura-bito (桜人) / Hana-bito (花人)

A person (“hito”) who loves sakura; a person attending hanami

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Hana-goromo (花衣)

Clothing (“koromo”) worn during hanami; particularly, the beautiful kimono worn by women during that time

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Hana-zukare (花疲れ)

A sense of fatigue (“tsukare”) coming from over-stimulation at the sight of cherry blossoms in full bloom as well as dealing with hanami crowds

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Sakura-ame (桜雨) / Hana no Ame (花の雨)

The lamentable rain (“ame”) that falls around the hanami period

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Hana-gumori (花曇り)

Cloudy (“kumori”) skies when cherry blossoms bloom
*There are many weather changes during cherry blossom season. On a note, this phenomenon is also called yōkaten (養花天).

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Hana no Kaze (花の風)

The regrettable wind (“kaze”) that sends cherry blossoms scattering

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Hana-bie (花冷え)

Sudden and temporary cold (“hie”) weather that arrives after the climate has already warmed up during the cherry blossom season

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Hana-kagari (花篝)

A controlled bonfire (“kagari”) kindled below the cherry trees to illuminate them; also called hana-bonbori (花雪洞)

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Yumemi-gusa (夢見草)

Another name for sakura (lit. “dreaming grass/plant”)
*This name derives from the spell-binding beauty of cherry blossoms, as if you’re lost in a dream.

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