Hanami Hustle

Hanami Hustle

This year’s cherry blossoms have just begun to emerge. Get a taste of what’s to come with this 2016 photo essay.

The best place in New Haven to practice the Japanese custom of hanami—cherry blossom-viewing, with optional sake-fueled feasts and poem-writing sessions under the pink and white blooms—is Wooster Square, whose outer edges are lined with Yoshino cherry trees.

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You don’t have to be Japanese to practice hanami, but you do have to be punctual. Cherry blossoms emerge just once a year, with each tree blooming and shedding over the course of an unpredictable week or two in spring. In a grove of cherry blossoms, there’s a peak—an even shorter period when the trees’ different schedules overlap to the greatest pink and white and fluffy effect.

We can’t know when Wooster Square’s peak will hit. But we can know this much: It’s just a matter of days.

Written and photographed by Dan Mims. This updated story originally published on April 15, 2016.

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