and the fleeting nature of life

Megro River, Nakameguro, Tokyo, on a sunny day.

Megro River, Nakameguro, Tokyo, on a sunny day

Our partners in Japan captured these stunning images of Sakura (Cherry Blossom trees) in Tokyo this month. Hanami is a traditional Japanese custom celebrating Sakuras’ brief bloom period each year. This practice has been part of Japanese culture for over a thousand years and typically occurs between March and April.

'Hanami' is derived from two Japanese words, 'Hana’ meaning flower, and ‘mi’ meaning to see or view. During the season, people in Japan and around the world gather with their families, friends, and colleagues to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Cherry Blossoms. One of the most popular places for Hanami is in public parks, where special events feature food vendors, musical performances, and traditional Japanese tea ceremonies.

Cherry Blossoms, Tokyo at night.

Cherry Blossoms, Tokyo at night.

People also visit historical sites adorned with Cherry Blossoms to enjoy the serene environment, perfect for reflection and relaxation, and enjoy picnics or parties under the trees. Friends share traditional Japanese foods like bento boxes, sushi, and sakura mochi, pink rice cakes wrapped in cherry blossom leaves, often with sake and beer.

Hanami celebrates the beauty of nature with an opportunity for people to connect and appreciate the fleeting nature of life. The Cherry Blossoms bloom for only a short period, reminding people to cherish the present moment and appreciate the beauty around them.

Megro River, Nakameguro, Tokyo, on a cloudy day.

Megro River, Nakameguro, Tokyo, on a cloudy day

The beautiful Cherry Blossom tree in the grounds of our Elgin weaving mill, not native to Scotland, is understood to have grown from a seed accidentally transported in raw fibres many years ago. 

Cherry Blossoms, The City of Tokyo

Cherry Blossoms in The City of Tokyo

Cherry Blossom trees are often considered an analogy for human life, reminding us to make the most of every moment. Perhaps the most poignant part of their life cycle is when the blossom falls, carpeting the ground with petals like a thick snowfall—a reminder that life is short and how important it is to celebrate the beauty of now.

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