Hanami (lit. “flower viewing”) is the Japanese traditional habit of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers, flowers (“hana”) in this case almost always referring to those of the cherry (“sakura”) or, less frequently, plum (“ume”) trees. From the end of March to early May, sakura bloom all over Japan, and around the first of February on the island of Okinawa. 
Have you ever attended the flowering of the cherry trees ?
Unfortunately, I did. In Rome, at the EUR’s lake, a couple of springs ago . Do not get me wrong, it is one of the best spectacles in the world , but as I mentioned in another place, for me Spring is a real challenge to survival !
And a “pollen waterfall” that runs direct into my respiratory system is not exactly the romantic image that you would expect when you think of the cherry trees in bloom .
If you are rather immune to these tortures called allergies , then the EUR’s lake if you are in Rome, or any other park in flourish for the rest of the world- is the right location for losing yourself , equipped with the Disney soundtrack
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8GUCQQZS64  in the tender , troubled ,
sometimes painful , reading of “ Memoirs of a Geisha ” by Arthur Golden .
If you are allergic to flowering like me , do not worry : just draw a nice beach towel in the living room , go to youtube and select ” relaxing music ” and pretend to be deep in nature.
Make sure you have a large amount of tea , rigorously Japanese (I recommend the Tamaryocha : a purely spring green tea ! Refreshing and pleasant.), to sip slightly warm , and a huge stock of tissues ( The more romantic may think it is for tears , but no, to be honest it is because if you start to read between April and May you will blow your nose every four pages , alas!) .
<If you have experienced an evening more exciting than any other in your life, you will be sad to see it ending; and yet you will still feel grateful that it happened.>
I know that it may seem like a purely feminine reading, surely there is a good dose of romance specifically for the X chromosome , but I promise it is not sticky sweet and that even the billy – endowed will find it interesting and convincing.
Despite the controversy arisen around the novel immediately after the print edition and remerged again when the director Rob Marshall wanted to take it into a movie , that Golden would betray its source by passing the story as a biography , while it is only based on the life of the geisha Mineko Iwasaki , I find this story captivating and charmer ; perhaps because it tells about a culture so distant from mine, so abstract in my imagination , that I was positively affected by the surprising empathy I felt with the protagonist .
It was curious to note how different we are also in the culinary routine in the way we think about free time , in conceiving the discipline , and at the same time we have a lot of things in common, like this bizarre notion that ” image is everything “.
And the appearance is more important than substance. “All the world over ” , they say, right?
I found particularly intriguing the vision of the geisha , which is not considered a mere prostitute, but as a artwork in living.
I always thought that it was the artist being at the service of the opera , but in this novel we are witness of the reversal of role : the Geisha is an art of a master service.
For a girl born and raised with Western values it is definitely a male chauvinist point of view , but if there is something I learned at my ripe old age is that you should never judge by hearsay , without really knowing .
Well , the great merit I give to this book is to open your mind to the East and push you to learn more , to fly to Japan to see with your own eyes what is true and what is fiction.
<<She paints her face to hide her face. Her eyes are deep water. It is not for Geisha to want. It is not for geisha to feel. Geisha is an artist of the floating world. She dances, she sings. She entertains you, whatever you want. The rest is shadows, the rest is secret>
Waiting to buy the ticket , we can enjoy the beauty of the cherry blossom season …… and sneeze.