Japan is primarily Buddhist, but what defines it even more than religion is it’s rigorous and distinct sense of aesthetics, one that is built from the celebration of seasonality dating back nearly 2000 years. The weather has informed every aspect Japan from its art, to poetry and cuisine. To be in Japan is to be in a constant recognition and engagement of the seasons. The cherry blossom would be its most poignant example. The flower isn’t just a symbol of Japan – it is THE symbol of Japan. Nowhere on earth is a piece of nature so intrinsic to a country’s identity than here. Japan without the cherry blossom would be inconceivable – like our alphabet without vowels.