16+ Essential Japanese Words for Spring (2023)

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Finally! The long, cold winter is over, and spring is arriving in Japan!

Spring is many people’s favourite season in Japan. As in other countries, spring is a sign of new life and a fresh start.

The most famous symbol of spring in Japan is sakura – cherry blossom flowers. As you will see, there are so many Japanese spring words just related to sakura and its related customs!

There are also many public holidays and festivals during the springtime in Japan.

Let’s learn some useful Japanese seasonal words for spring:

Haru (春)

16+ Essential Japanese Words for Spring (1)

First things first, let’s learn how to say spring in Japanese! Haru is the Japanese word for spring. The kanji character for spring is 春.

Spring is one of the four seasons in Japan.The other Japanese seasons arenatsu(summer), aki(autumn) and fuyu (winter).

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Sakura (桜)

16+ Essential Japanese Words for Spring (2)

Sakura means cherry blossom. The beautiful, pale pink cherry blossom flowers are the most famous sign of spring in Japan!

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Everyone loves to celebrate the sakura season. They represent new beginnings, the reawakening of the natural world and the end of the long cold winter.

The sakura burst into bloom usually in late March or early April, but the delicate flowers last only for around two weeks. Because of this, they are seen as a symbol of the transience of life.

Ume (梅)

16+ Essential Japanese Words for Spring (3)

Although sakura are the most famous spring flower, if you are in Japan in February or March, you might catch a glimpse of the cherry blossom’s early blooming sister – ume, or plum blossom.

These flowers bloom earlier, while it’s still cold. They are the first flower to bloom in spring in Japan.

In my opinion, ume are just as beautiful as sakura. I’m not sure why ume aren’t as widely celebrated. Perhaps because they bloom when it is still too cold to enjoy hanami?

Hanami (花見)

16+ Essential Japanese Words for Spring (4)

Hanami is a cherry blossom viewing event. The word is made of two kanji: 花 (hana) which means flower, and 見 (mi) which means watch or view. So literally, it means ‘flower watching’.

Hanami are a kind of party where people gather in a park beneath the cherry blossom trees and enjoy food and drinks while they admire the flowers.

Hanami are a huge cultural event every springtime in Japan. Groups of friends, families, workplaces and so on all organise their own hanami parties.

The most popular hanami spots are in great demand! Sometimes people camp out overnight to secure the perfect picnic spot for their party!

You may also hear hanami referred to as ohanami, which is a more respectful term.

Sakura zensen (桜前線)

16+ Essential Japanese Words for Spring (5)

Sakura zensen means cherry blossom front.

Since the sakura is such a big deal in Japan, it’s natural that everybody wants to know when it will bloom.

The only problem is, nobody knows for sure!

The sakura can bloom at a different time each year, depending on the weather and other conditions that year. And of course, it depends on the location too.

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Generally speaking, the sakura zensen starts in the south of the country and moves to the north over the period of a month.

You can check the latest forecast in English and Japanese here.

Mankai (満開)

16+ Essential Japanese Words for Spring (6)

Mankai means full bloom. It’s the period when the sakura are fully open. Well, technically it means when at least 80% of the flowers on each tree are open.

This is the best time for hanami parties, photoshoots and so on. However, since the sakura bloom at different times each year, it can be difficult to know when this will be!

You’re very lucky if you get to attend a hanami during mankai 🙂

Hana gasumi (花霞)

16+ Essential Japanese Words for Spring (7)

The characters in hana gasumi are花 (hana, flower) and 霞 (gasumi, haze or mist).

This is a very evocative word that describes how a springtime tree in bloom looks like a white mist.

Sakura fubuki (桜吹雪)

16+ Essential Japanese Words for Spring (8)

When the wind blows in springtime, clouds of delicate cherry blossom petals blow off the branches and whirl around like a snow storm! That’s a sakura fubuki (cherry blossom blizzard).

The kanji are 桜 (sakura) and 吹雪 (fubuki; snow storm or blizzard).

Hana akari (花明かり)

16+ Essential Japanese Words for Spring (9)

Hana akari describes the soft glow that seems to come from a cherry blossom tree in full bloom at night. The lightness of the petals seems to illuminate the evening and make it look brighter.

The kanji are 花 (hana; flower) and 明かり (akari; glow)

Hazakura (葉桜)

16+ Essential Japanese Words for Spring (10)

Hazakura are the new green leaves that appear on the cherry blossom trees after the blossoms start to fall.

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Although it’s a shame when the blossoms disappear, the leaves are beautiful in their own way. They remind us that spring will turn into summer soon.

The characters in this word are 葉 (ha; leaves) and 桜 (sakura).

Kafunsho (花粉症)

16+ Essential Japanese Words for Spring (11)

This isn’t such a pleasant word, but it’s still a very useful one!

Kafunsho means hayfever. Many people suffer from hayfever in springtime in Japan due to the high pollen count.

If this is you, it can help to wear a face mask (マスク).

Haru ichiban (春一番)

16+ Essential Japanese Words for Spring (12)

Haru ichiban literally means ‘spring number one’ but a better translation would be ‘first spring wind’. It’s the name given to the first strong wind of the year.

Typically it arrives between late February and the middle of March.

The wind arrives from the south on a warm day. It’s considered to be one of the first signs of spring in Japan, so many people are happy to feel it arrive!

The characters are 春 (haru; spring), 一番 (ichiban, number one).

Hina matsuri (雛祭り)

16+ Essential Japanese Words for Spring (13)

Hina matsuri is a Japanese festival celebrated on 3rd March every year. It means Doll’s Festival and is also known as Girls’ Day.

On this day, families with daughters display a set of hina dolls (hinakazari) that represent the Emperor and Empress of Japan and their attendants.

There are also special foods enjoyed on this day, such as:

  • ちらし寿司(chirashi-zushi) – mixed toppings (such as fish, roe, vegetables and egg) on sushi rice
  • あられ (hina-arare ) – colourful rice crackers
  • 菱餅 (hishimochi) – rice cake with three layers coloured pink, green and white
  • 甘酒 (amazake) – sweet sake
  • うしお汁 (ushiojiru) – clam soup

This day is celebrated especially in families with daughters, but of course anyone can enjoy the special foods.

New school term (新学期)

16+ Essential Japanese Words for Spring (14)
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In Japan, the new school year starts in April – unlike many western countries where it starts in September. The start of the new term is called shingakki.

This means that spring, not autumn, is the season associated with the new school year. Also, the financial year starts at the same time.

Kodomo no hi (子供の日)

16+ Essential Japanese Words for Spring (15)

Kodomo no hi means Children’s Day. It is celebrated on 5 May.

It is also known as Boys’ Day (since girls also have their own day on 3 March!)

Families with boys display samurai helmets (kabuto) or dolls to symbolise strength. You will also see carp shaped banners (koinobori) on display at this time.

A traditional food to eat on Children’s Day is kashiwa-mochi, a rice cake wrapped in an oak leaf.

Golden week (ゴールデンウィーク)

16+ Essential Japanese Words for Spring (16)

Kodomo no hi is just one of four national holidays that fall inside the same week, known as golden week.

Here are the others:

  • 昭和の日(Shōwa no hi) – Shōwa Day , 29 April
  • 憲法記念日 (Kenpō kinenbi) – Constitution Memorial Day 3 May
  • みどりの日 (Midori no hi) – Greenery Day, 4 May

In Japan people don’t like to take long vacations or use their paid leave from work, so national holidays such as these are a well-appreciated chance to have a break.

Many people use this time to travel. If you are in Japan at this time, be sure to make your travel reservations a long time in advance!

Do you know any more spring words in Japanese?Share them in the comments below!

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16+ Essential Japanese Words for Spring (18)

Rebecca Shiraishi-Miles

Rebecca is the founder of Team Japanese. She spent two years teaching English in Ehime, Japan. Now back in the UK, she spends her time blogging, self-studying Japanese and wrangling a very genki toddler.

(Video) Minna no Nihongo Renshuu b answers Lesson 16 | in Nepali Practice B | Japanese language with details


What are other words for spring Japanese? ›

Haru is the Japanese word for spring. The kanji character for spring is 春. Spring is one of the four seasons in Japan. The other Japanese seasons are natsu (summer), aki (autumn) and fuyu (winter).

What does sakura Fubuki mean? ›

Sakura-fubuki (桜吹雪) - this means “cherry blossom snowstorm”. Often cherry blossom petals dance in the spring wind, which from a distance can look like a storm of pink petals! Hana-no-ami (花の雨) - flower rain. This is the special Japanese phrase for when rain falls on the cherry blossoms - an incredibly beautiful sight.

How do you say no in anime? ›

The Japanese Word for 'No'

It is the most straightforward, blunt way of doing it, while the casual way of saying “no” is いや (iya). In common parlance, most people say いえ (ie) rather than いいえ (iie) due to the awkward pause that the extra い (i) syllable adds.

Is Haru a girl or boy name? ›

Haru is a gender-neutral baby name of Japanese origin. Meaning “spring” in Japan, this baby name blossoms throughout every season, especially in Asia and South America. The name Haru is primarily used for babies born during the most fruitful time of the year.

Is 10,000 Japanese words enough? ›

This vocabulary corresponds with JLPT levels N3 / N2. About 10,000 words will give you a high level of competence. You will still need to look up a lot of words if you read a novel, but you will be able to get the gist of almost anything you read or hear.

Is 5000 words enough for Japanese? ›

Kanji includes over 50,000 different characters, however, you only need to know about 2,000 of them to be considered fluent. You also only need to know about 5,000 Japanese vocabulary words to be considered fluent as well.

How many words is 400 characters in Japanese? ›

One page of Japanese with 400 characters generally equals 225-250 words in English.

What does Yuki sakura mean? ›

Yuki: Means Snow. Sakura: Means Cherry Blossom. Therefore his name could be interpreted as Snowy Cherry Blossom.

What does Haru sakura mean? ›

In Japan, sakura symbolizes hope, and haru means “spring.” There, the arrival of cherry blossoms has long heralded the season's beginning and is a time to gather and celebrate. Sakura grew up in tropical Okinawa.

What does sakura's cha mean? ›

Sakurayu (Japanese: 桜湯), Sakura-cha (桜茶), literally "cherry blossom tea", is a Japanese infusion created by steeping pickled cherry blossoms with boiled water. This combination becomes a type of herbal tea, and has been enjoyed in East Asian culture for many generations.

How do you say OK in anime? ›

Daijoubu. 大丈夫 (daijoubu) means “okay” or “alright”.

How do you say girlfriend in anime? ›

The standard Japanese word for 'girlfriend' is kanojo (彼女 / かのじょ). This word can be used by anyone in different settings. Example: Kono bentou wa watashi no kanojo ga tsukutte kureta.

What are the 30 spring words? ›

Words included are: umbrella, rain, puddle, windy, rainbow, St. Patrick's Day, pot of gold, shamrock, leprechaun, hat, Easter, bunny, eggs, chicks, basket, Earth Day, recycle, Earth, clean up, planting, garden, plants, seeds, tools, grass, flowers, bee, butterfly, bird, and sun.

Is spring time one word? ›

noun. spring·​time ˈspriŋ-ˌtīm. Synonyms of springtime. : the season of spring.

What word starts with N? ›

  • nail (verb)
  • nail.
  • naked (adjective)
  • name (noun)
  • name (verb)
  • narrow (adjective)
  • nation (noun)
  • national (adjective)

Is Yuki unisex? ›

Yuki is a popular gender-neutral name of Japanese origin. While male and female versions of the name have different characters in Japanese, when translated to English without the vowel elongation, they are spelled the same.

What is a kawaii name? ›

One of the most enigmatic Japanese words is kawaii (hereinafter, this word is employed without italicisation). It is often translated into English as 'cute' or 'pretty' (Yomota, 2006).

Is Yue a unisex name? ›

The Chinese name Yue is unisex and means 'born under the moon'.

Can I learn Japanese in 6 months? ›

However, many experts believe it takes between 4 to 6 months of dedicated study to reach a beginner level. On the other hand, you can expect to spend at least 3 years studying to become fluent in Japanese with near-native level accuracy.

How fast can I learn Japanese? ›

Japanese is one of the most difficult languages for English natives to master. This is because it does not have a lot of likeness in structure to English. Approximately it will take 88 weeks, or 2200 hours of studying, to become fluent. But this article shows tips and tools to expedite and make the process easier.

Can you learn Japanese in 2 years? ›

The average length of time to learn advanced Japanese is 2-3 years. At the intermediate level, you can understand most of what your teacher says, and you can follow along with TV programs. When it comes to using the language with other Japanese speakers, however, you still have some limitations.

How much of Japan knows English? ›

Do Japanese People Speak English? Japanese is the main language spoken in Japan. However, according to studies somewhere between 13 and 30 per cent of Japanese people also speak some level of English. although only around 9 per cent say they feel confident using English.

What Jlpt level is fluent? ›

C2 level holders are regarded as fluent as a native language speaker, or are referred to as business level. * Japanese language tests today typically do not have a speaking section, but test-making organizations are considering incorporating a speaking section in future tests.

How many Japanese characters in a 2 minute speech? ›

Time Management. You can guess how long your Japanese speech will take by counting how many letters there are in your script. It is said native speakers take 1 minute to complete 300 letters. Considering you are a Japanese learner, it may take 1 minute for you to complete approximately 250 letters.

How much is 1600 characters in words? ›

Answer: 1,600 characters is between 228 words and 400 words with spaces included in the character count. If spaces are not included in the character count, then 1,600 characters is between 266 words and 534 words.

How many words is a 2000 character limit? ›

How Many Words in Any Number of Characters
Characters with SpacesWord Count (With Spaces)Word Count (Without Spaces)
2,000 CHARACTERS290-500 WORDS330-670 WORDS
2,500 CHARACTERS360-630 WORDS420-830 WORDS
3,000 CHARACTERS430-750 WORDS500-1,000 WORDS
5,000 CHARACTERS710-1,250 WORDS830-1,670 WORDS
16 more rows

What is spring moon Japanese name? ›

Harutsuki (春月, "Spring Moon") was an Akizuki-class destroyer of the Imperial Japanese Navy. Her name means "Spring Moon".

What is natural spring in Japanese? ›

Natural hot springs (温泉, onsen) are numerous and highly popular across Japan. Every region of the country has its share of hot springs and resort towns, which come with them.

What is spring princess in Japanese? ›

春姫, "spring princess"

What represents spring in Japan? ›

Japanese cherry blossoms, or sakura, have been regarded as a symbol of spring since the Heian Period (794-1185). The charming flower symbolises renewal, vitality, and beauty and is deeply ingrained in the art, literature and culture of Japan.


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