This year, Japan is pleasantly surprised to see the gorgeous sakura season approach early and add a beautiful coat of cherry blossoms to the country, as well as welcome a wave of sakura-themed and flavored goods. One of the most fascinating and charming sakura-themed items we've seen, however, is tied to traditional Japanese craftsmanship and comes from Gifu's Artisan House CASA--a gorgeous sakura model of a traditional Japanese umbrella.

Gifu's Artisan House CASA ("kasa/casa" is the Japanese word for umbrella), actually turned what was originally crafted as a special present for Emily Blunt at the Japanese premiere of Mary Poppins Returns into a model for retail. The traditional style umbrella, which is a fashionable parasol intended to ward off sunlight, is the newest addition to Gifu's Artisan House CASA, which takes pride in shining a light on local craftsmanship found in the former merchant port of the Nagaragawa region of Gifu--particularly long-practiced paper craftsmanship seen in lanterns and umbrellas.

The special sakura umbrella makes use of three types of Mino washi (a type of high quality Japanese paper named a "Traditional Craft" by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), and is painstakingly crafted so that the umbrella can open gently and create a feeling of peak cherry blossom spring all around you.

The perfect umbrella for a stroll through falling cherry blossoms.

The sakura umbrella is set to go on sale from April 1st in limited quantities (as crafting the item is a time consuming process). Gifu’s Handcraft Artisan House CASA's online shop might give you an idea of comparable prices from other models, although a trip in person to the artisan house is highly recommended. A look at their English language site shows that you can not only browse their goods, but experience traditional thread stitching yourself and craft your very own paper wagasa (Japanese umbrella)!

Check both the Japanese and English websites for access information and more.

By - Big Neko.