types of Japanese grave flowers

What are the best flowers for a grave in Japan?

We will give you information about which flowers are preferred for cemeteries in Japan. The most suitable popular flower varieties for cemeteries in Japan. “Cemetery flowers” refers to flowers that are commonly used as offerings or decorations in cemeteries to honor and remember the deceased. These flowers play a symbolic and cultural role in funeral traditions and cemetery visits. The choice of cemetery flowers may vary based on cultural, religious, and personal preferences. People select flowers that hold specific meanings or resonate with their feelings toward the departed. Additionally, seasonal availability and regional customs can influence the types of flowers used in cemetery settings. Ultimately, cemetery flowers serve as a visual and symbolic expression of love, remembrance, and respect for the deceased.


In Japan, the tradition of honoring deceased loved ones involves the use of specific flowers for graves. The choice of flowers is often influenced by cultural and religious beliefs. Here are some commonly used flowers for graves in Japan:

What are the best flowers for a grave in Japan
  1. Chrysanthemum (Kiku): Chrysanthemums hold great significance in Japanese culture and are associated with death and funerals. White chrysanthemums, in particular, are commonly used for grave offerings as they symbolize purity and truth.
  2. Lily (Yuri): Lilies are considered flowers of condolence and are often placed on graves to express sympathy and mourning.
  3. Carnation (Kānēshon): Carnations are popular flowers for graves in Japan. White carnations symbolize purity and innocence, while red carnations are often used to express admiration and love for the deceased.
  4. Camellia (Tsubaki): Camellias are associated with death and are used in funeral rituals. They are considered symbolic of the transience of life.
  5. Plum Blossom (Ume no hana): Plum blossoms symbolize endurance and perseverance, making them suitable for expressing condolences.
  6. Sakura (Cherry Blossom): While cherry blossoms are more commonly associated with spring and the celebration of life, they are also used in funeral ceremonies to symbolize the fleeting nature of life.
  7. Iris (Ayame): Iris flowers represent protection and are often placed on graves as a gesture of respect and to wish the deceased a peaceful afterlife.

When placing flowers on a grave in Japan, it’s customary to do so with reverence and care. Additionally, it’s essential to be aware of local customs and the preferences of the deceased person’s family. Flowers are an important aspect of Japanese funeral rites, and their symbolism plays a significant role in conveying emotions and respect for the departed.

Why take flowers to a cemetery in Japan

In Japan, taking flowers to a cemetery is a common practice rooted in cultural and religious traditions. The act of bringing flowers to a cemetery serves multiple purposes:

Why take flowers to a cemetery in Japan
  1. Symbol of Respect and Remembrance: Flowers are a universal symbol of respect and remembrance. By placing flowers on a grave, individuals express their love and respect for the deceased. It is a tangible way to honor the memory of those who have passed away.
  2. Symbolic Meaning of Flowers: Different types of flowers carry specific symbolic meanings. For example, chrysanthemums are associated with death and are often used in funeral rituals, while plum blossoms symbolize endurance. The choice of flowers can convey specific sentiments and wishes for the departed.
  3. Cultural and Religious Significance: In Japanese culture, the practice of bringing flowers to cemeteries is deeply ingrained. Many families follow Buddhist or Shinto traditions, and these religions place importance on rituals involving flowers as offerings to ancestors. It’s considered a way to show filial piety and maintain a connection with one’s roots.
  4. Connection to Nature and Seasons: In Japan, there is a strong connection between nature and spiritual beliefs. Flowers, especially those associated with particular seasons like cherry blossoms in spring, are seen as symbols of the cyclical nature of life and death. This connection to nature enhances the spiritual and symbolic significance of bringing flowers to a cemetery.
  5. Aesthetic and Emotional Expression: Beyond their symbolic meanings, flowers contribute to the aesthetic appeal of cemeteries. The vibrant colors and fragrances create a serene and peaceful atmosphere, contributing to the emotional experience for those visiting the gravesite.

It’s important to note that the specific customs and traditions may vary among different regions in Japan and among different religious beliefs. While bringing flowers is a common practice, some families may have their unique customs or preferences regarding offerings and commemorations. Visitors to cemeteries are encouraged to be respectful and mindful of the local customs and the wishes of the deceased person’s family. Flowers suitable for a cemetery in Japan >>