The reason why cherry trees were planted.
Have you ever thought about the reason why cherry trees were planted?
In Japan, we can see so many cherry trees in everywhere.
Many of them are really old, few hundred years old.
An interesting point is, many cherry trees are planted by rivers.
This has a reasonable reason.
Ancient Japanese people planted cherry trees by rivers, so that many people would come and see the beautiful cherry blossoms.
They knew that many people visiting and walking there, would help make the soil harden, and help make the solid river bank.
So cherry trees were planted as a flood control measures.
Another interesting point is, that many cherry trees are in shrines and temples as well.
Shrines are Shintoism, and originally have deep relations with pine trees, but not with cherry trees.
However, people thought cherry blossoms’ gracefulness symbolizes the samurai spirit, and many shrines preferred to plant cherry trees as well.
Temples are Buddhism which has the deep relations with flowers.
They admired cherry blossoms as well as plum blossoms.
We cannot talk about Japanese history without the relations with temples.
Muromachi era, Sengoku era, around 13C to 16C, many temples already had cherry trees.
Famous Samurai and shogun enjoyed Sakura viewing “Ohanami” since then.
In Japan, people enjoy Sakura viewing “Ohanami” since ancient time, and this is a Japanese culture.
Many famous Sakura spots in Kyoto and Nara are in temples and shrines.
In Tokyo too, many famous Sakura spots are in temples and shrines, as well as by rivers, or near the water.
Ueno park, where many people visit for Sakura viewing, was once a temple.
Imperial palace is surrounded with moat.
Meguro river, Kanda river, Sumida river, Tamagawa river, Arakawa river, are all famous Sakura spots.