The weather is warming up, yet sadly many of us are unable to fully enjoy the spring blooms this year. Even if you’re lucky and have a garden or allotment, you may have missed the cherry blossom season — but that doesn’t mean we can’t be inspired by it.
The fleeting nature of the sakura is both poignant and hopeful. Historically associated with the samurai elite, whose honourable lives burned the brightest but were often cut short on the battlefield, cherry-blossom pink is not a tame colour. It’s one of respect, intellect and beauty, and a powerful symbol of renewal. The cherry blossom represents the cycle of life.
As this year’s petals drift away, here’s a few sakura-inspired things we’d like to show you, just to say, be positive and stay in the pink.
Shop Watanabe Thoki Kakyu Vase here
Pictures of Beauty
Hanami|Aoyama, Keith Ng’s personal reflection of the cherry-blossom viewing parties at Tokyo’s Aoyama Cemetery in Tokyo, is hauntingly evocative. It’s also a rare insight into the nature of the cemetery and the spring festivities, which were banned from 2009. To read more about Ng’s photographic work and inspiration, click here. But for now, let us show you a couple of exclusive images from the book that you won’t see anywhere else.
Shop Hanami|Aoyama by Keith Ng here
Nature in the Home
We’ve found that when it comes to flowers, just one or two can bring as much joy as a full bouquet. A sprig of cherry blossom is like a tiny bonsai when placed in a bud vase. But try it with any bloom — showcasing just one or two stems really draws the focus to your little piece of healing nature. Best of all, little bud vases are so easy to move around. Ours keep us company at the desk, in the kitchen, on the dining table ― anywhere that needs a little cheer.
Shop Okada Round Bud Vase here
Cherry Blossom Infusions
Since lockdown, taking a break with a relaxing cuppa has definitely become a more frequent habit in our household. English tea and green tea are, of course, favourites, but we also love cherry blossom tea. Yes! cherry blossom is edible — and it’s purported to have great health benefits. It’s high in antioxidants, has essential fatty acids (perfect for anti-aging), and has anti-inflammatory properties.
There are two kinds of cherry blossom teas we think are fabulous, and we discovered they are available at the Japan Center online store. The first is a blend of sencha green tea with dried sakura leaves and blossoms. It has a distinctive sweet sakura aroma that smells awesome before you even steep it. The leaves and flowers add a subtle herbal but fruity flavour to the green tea, which itself has calming properties, so it’s perfect for a little chill out time.
For a more unusual infusion, though, try sakura-yu. Essentially, this is pickled cherry blossoms steeped in hot water and it looks stunning. The flowers unfurl in the water as they produce a soft pink drink. We admit, it’s an acquired taste — the blossoms are pickled in plum vinegar, dried and dusted with salt, so the drink is a little salty, but there is also a very subtle underlying sweetness. It’s not for everyone, but we personally find it a refreshing cleansing brew.
Naturally, we also think these teas make a perfect match for our pink Moheim tea caddy and Asemi cup. So, please do treat yourselves!