Do you love cherry blossoms? Why not actually plan a little trip to Japan to see them in person then? You could stay in traditional Ryokan-style guesthouses, with futon mattresses, tatami flooring, and communal baths. You know you want to.
This map and website is the best one to help plan a trip, timing, and destinations. Spring in Japan is magical—from mid-March to late April the pink and white blossoms blanket the country in soft, colorful splendor. Or check this site, Japan Guide.com.
You can join the cherry blossom parties and picnics, called hanami. The night time hanami parties (called yozakura) are big among the younger set. Paper lanterns and lights are hung in trees, and people eat out and walk among them. The island of Okinawa is especially good for the evening yozakura.
The Ryokan inns—let’s get back to those—because, OK, we love cherry blossoms, but would you really want to go to Japan just for that?
Staying in Ryokan inns transforms your Japan trip into an experience of traditional culture and style.
Apparently, they are a little harder to find than modern hotels in Tokyo and other big cities, and sometimes more expensive, but in some cities you can find them for as cheap as $40 a night. Generally though, you’ll find them in scenic destinations—out by the sea and in mountain regions. Your best bet is Hoshino Resorts, a chain offering this style of lodging.