The cherry blossom or sakura season in Japan is met with reverence and anticipation each year. The cheery blossom season is celebrated in almost every corner of the country. Crows flock in parks and gardens to witness the charm and beauty of the cherry blossoms, a relatively small window of opportunity. Kavan Choksi mentions that the tradition of ‘Hanami’ has been observed across Japan for generations. In fact, daily updates and forecasts of when and where the blossoming will occur feature in the newspapers and on television in Japan.
Kavan Choksi underlines the business implications of the cherry blossom season in Japan
The cherry blossom season is integral to both the Japanese history and the cultural calendar of the company. Sakura offers a boost to Japan’s economy every spring by providing a huge boost to tourism and consumption. This time in Japan is marked by visiting various places and celebrating with near and dear ones with food and drinks. Many individuals purchase special sakura-themed products, foods and drinks in order to mark the occasion. As a result, hotels, eateries, restaurants, gift stores and more, benefit from the increased demand and revenue, as do tour operators and travel agents. After all, the cherry blossom season is among the busiest seasons for tourism in Japan.
As the sakura season comes closer, competition within the industry becomes extremely fierce, and certain small businesses also struggle with the increasing prices that plague the industry every season. Every year, travel agencies tend to compete with one another to reserve hotels for their customers at the best possible deal, as hotels invariably raise their booking prices in the busy season. Hotels usually make a greater profit in comparison to travel agencies in some respect, as while hotels may raise their prices depending on the season but travel operators cannot just raise their advertised prices suddenly.
There are many popular places across Japan that people specially visit to watch the cherry blossoms, Kakunodate being one of them. Kavan Choksi points out that Kakunodate is an excellent example of a local economy that majorly depends on the sakura season every year. The Japanese inns, as well as eating and drinking establishments here, are the biggest beneficiaries of the season. Visitors commonly take a stroll down the streets of the samurai residences and alongside the bank of the Hinokinai River, to view the contrast between the black walls of the samurai houses and the overhanging cherry blossoms. This setting creates an immensely remarkable sight. There is also around a 2km corridor of cherry blossoms along the Hinokinai River that also attracts many tourists.
On the whole, businesses, both domestic and international, regardless of their size, can take advantage of the special place cherry blossom season holds in the minds and hearts of the Japanese population. During this time, sakura motifs and pink-themed marketing dominate the scene, including the products people purchase on a daily basis. International companies have a lot of dealings with Japanese counterparts, and the sakura season provides a great icebreaker when establishing new business ties.