Japanese cherry blossoms outfit! How to celebrate sakura season & hanami fashion.

sakura makeup, hair

It’s a special time of the year for many people in Japan: sakura season. Cherry blossom trees are in full bloom, and friends are getting together to appreciate the pink petals while they last.

Have you heard of hanami (flower viewing), or taken part in this tradition? Read on for the beautiful story, and my sakura-inspired coordinate!

cherry blossom trees

Around late March to May, Japan turns into a cotton candy wonderland. The season’s is a big deal here: as winter ends, people start to check the “sakura zensen” forecast, or cherry blossom front. When the trees are blossoming, it’s time to celebrate.

hanami outfit, spring kimono

But what to wear? My long, lace maxi dress from Salsit was perfect for the occasion. I love the sheer floral print and romantic feel of the Widow dress.

salsit lace flower dress

I accessorized it with a kimono-style top, from alternative Japanese designer h.NAOTO’s Gouk collection. (Here are photos from the Naoto store in Tokyo.)

japanese girl pink cherry blossoms

The flower-appreciation began centuries back, in the Nara period. Today, the Japanese still hold “hanami” festivals or gatherings to appreciate the short-lived cherry blossoms.

cherry blossom photography

People of all ages and interests take part in hanami. Many have picnics in Tokyo’s Yoyogi park (tip: go early to save a space, as it fills up quickly especially on weekends). Families and friends drink, eat, take photos, and play music in this dreamy setting.

hanami celebrations tokyo japan

I wanted to pay tribute to the season with my outfit. The Salsit dress is sheer, so I wore a long white tank-top under (to break up the length, and reveal the black lace flowers). I chose Japanese-style sandals, and pinned some cherry blossom flowers to my hair.

h.naoto gouk kimono, fashion shoot

My electric blue haircolor gives my look a modern feel. But in black and white, it’s timeless.

white pink cherry blossoms flowers

Although “prunus” trees are found around the world (including North America, Australia, South America and Europe), cherry blossoms are a distinct Japanese symbol, and have been important throughout the country’s history.

hamani style, what to wear

Many “yukata” or summer kimonos have long sleeves and cherry flower prints, colors or motifs.

sakura branches, cherry blossoms blooming

Light pink, mint, and other pastel colors inspire the spring fashions in Japan and worldwide.

pink flowering trees, spring

The print on the back of my kimono-top seems like an extension of the flowers on my lace dress.

cherry blossom flowers

Cherry blossom viewing is also linked to a Japanese concept called “mono no aware,” or melancholy appreciation of the impermanence of things. The blossoms are beautiful now, but they will soon fall and be gone — like all things.

sakura in hair

So we might as well appreciate them to the fullest, in this present moment.

japanese hanami outfit, dress

Some people attend shrines or Buddhist temples, to see the flowers. My Tokyo friends hold a yearly “Goth hanami” — it’s the same as what regular folk do, but with more piercings, tattoos and alcohol!

lace sheer dress, flower kimono jacket

Details, details. Dark meets light, pastel meets Gothic.

cherry blossom nail art, sakura nails

I even did DIY sakura nail art to match. It’s pretty simple: start with a grey-pink base coat. Then, cover half of each nail with dots of magenta, on a diagonal. Then, add specks of silver and pink sparkle. Finish with a top coat.

hanami viewing, cherry trees park

You don’t need to be in Japan in order to take part in the festivities. Many worldwide cities have cherry blossoms festivals, which may include traditional music and dance performances, and food vendors.

hanami festival goth girl

Or, just find a park or street that is blooming with pink. It’s an opportunity to get creative, such as by taking photos…

spring pink flower celebration

… drawing, painting, or making dried pressed flowers.

big sleeve japanese kimono top

The Japanese use sakura as an ingredient as well. The blossoms are pickled and used in sweets like mochi, or drunk as tea.

macro close up sakura

Perhaps you might also plan a future trip to Japan, to coincide with this time of year. If so, it’s best to book and plan early, since plane tickets and hotel rooms are pricy during this high season.

big flowering tree pink buds

But you can still celebrate, no matter where you are. Enjoy the flowers shooting up around you.

japan cherry blossom season

With the winter waning, it’s a good excuse to pick up lighter pieces for your spring wardrobe, like the Salsit Widow dress.

budding cherry trees

Let’s be in the moment, when the buds are emerging…

japanese high heel sandals

… and when the petals fall.

designer japanese yukata

Do you have cherry blossom trees around you? Have you heard of hanami, or tried flower-viewing?


Filed Under Fashion
  • Natasha

    stunning photos and love the dress!!!!!!

  • Vena Cava

    <3 <3

  • Matthew


  • eki

    La Carminaよ、オレの酒が飲めんのか?

  • n.a.t.

    my style idol this is one of best you did


  • Derrick

    So pretty!

  • Kate


  • I absolutely adored your Hanami post I hope I get to see Hanami one day.

    • Thank you Sophie! It’s a wonderful occasion.

  • Gladys

    This is adorable :-)

  • Susan

    Living in the US I always wanted to go to the DC festival…still on my bucket list

  • Deny

    Japon :-)

  • Wendy

    Enjoy your photos a lot
    Thank u

  • Ah, this makes me miss hanami and just being in a place where cherry blossoms bloom. They made the trip to work so much more enjoyable. I love your ensemble; I think it conveys the ethereal quality of sakura (also I love Gouk so much).

    • I can’t believe the blossoms are already turning brown and falling! Such a brief and lovely time.

  • Petronius

    The site keeps getting better and better. I’ve been reading you for years and it’s nice to see how everything grows.

  • USA gal

    Seriously. Love. This

  • Greg

    Can you go to outerspace next ^^

  • yukiro

    OMG!! I love this outfit!! super pretty pictures!!! <3<3<3 you are so beautiful and the sakura too!! Its so nice to see you in an traditional elegant photo session like this once in a while :D

    • Thank you for cheering me up <3 <3

  • ji

    lots of hugs la carmina

  • StrawberryDream


  • Veronica

    Picture perfect! I so wish I could celebrate with you.

  • Mish Young

    Sakura is the most beautiful season in Japan!

    • It is the most beautiful for sure… but Halloween is my favorite! :)

  • Amanda

    *3* so pretty!

  • Rudi


  • Kuro

    never seen… and I have to await another year to come back in Japan… damn

    • Plan early! Tickets and hotels can book up fast and be expensive around this time of year. Let me know how it goes :)

  • Kevin

    Wonderful. Here you look like Count D from Pet Shop of Horrors.

    • Aha, I had to google that – decadent drawings, I like :)

  • Takashi


  • Elaine

    You have so much grace, very photogenic!

  • Esther

    Aww that was such a beautiful post in every way!

  • Rafael

    wow that’s bewitching!

  • Bella

    Oh yeah… cherry blossoms

  • Sprinkle Days

    Wow, this is a great post =) The pictures are beautiful. Enjoyed viewing your blog.
    Feel free to check out my blog too if you have some extra time =). Take Care

    • Thank you! And I enjoyed reading your site – great health tips!

  • Brad

    This is a delightful set of photos.

  • Anne


  • Ich

    Wow the sakura look so nice! I love that kimono top and the blue ombré hair is cool as well

  • Kuro


  • Rudi

    ✿ღ ~✿ღ ~
    `*.¸.* ´* ✻¸¸.•´¯`♥

  • Zehra