The Japanese government has officially announced the arrival of its annual cherry blossom season.
Cherry blossom season typically lasts for about two weeks in Japan, usually starting from late March to early April, depending on the location and climate.
This season, which usually starts in late March to early April, came a bit early this year due to warm weather.
Sakura or cherry blossom is Japan's national flower and holds special significance in Japanese culture, representing the beauty and fleeting nature of life.
The most famous cherry blossom spots in Japan include the Ueno Park in Tokyo, Mount Yoshino in Nara and Himeji Castle in Hyogo.
Hanami, or flower viewing, is a popular during the cherry blossom season, where people gather under the blooming trees with family and friends to enjoy picnics.
Many Japanese companies and schools organize cherry blossom viewing parties with colleagues, friends, and family, usually involving food and drinks.
In Japan, the cherry blossom forecast is closely monitored by the Japan Meteorological Corporation, which provides updates on the blooming flowers.
Some popular cherry blossom varieties in Japan include Somei Yoshino, which has pale pink flowers, and Yamazakura, which has deep pink flowers.
Some local festivals and events during the season include, the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival in Aomori and the Kitakami Tenshochi Sakura Festival in Iwate.
Cherry blossom-themed food and drinks are also popular, including sakura mochi, sakura-flavored tea, and sakura-inspired cocktails.
The cherry blossom season is a busy time for tourism in Japan, and it is recommended to book accommodation and transportation well in advance.