Here in Japan, the annual cherry blossom season is upon us, as cherry trees have already started to flower in the nation’s more southern regions, with Tokyo expected to be blooming this weekend or early next week. Interestingly, Japan’s hanami (cherry blossom viewing) season has an almost holiday like status, and even Apple is in agreement, with a featured section in the App Store for hanami-related apps and media.
The recommended apps include some obvious choices like ‘Cherry Blossoms – Best 100 in Japan’ and the somewhat pricey Sakura reference book app. But other recommendations like the Pizza Hut app certainly won’t go unappreciated by the many park-goers in Japan once they down a few beers.
This featured section of the Japanese App Store is an interesting addition by Apple. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any other naturally occurring phenomenon that has received such status from the Cupertino company.
This is a good example of how a company should be aware of local customs and traditions here in Japan. The local mobile market can be a tough nut to crack, but anticipating user needs during seasonal times or holidays is one way that a company like Apple can connect with consumers.
If you’re searching for some popular hanami spots in Tokyo, here are a few recommended ones over on The Japan Times, as well as extensive lists of spots from WalkerPlus and the Tokyo Metropolitan Park Association.