When thinking of Japan, certain images come to mind.
One of the most common is the sight of beautiful white or pink cherry blossoms blooming and underneath the blooming trees people spread out on blankets to admire this sign of Spring in Japan.
For hundreds of years, the Japanese have celebrated Spring with cherry blossom (sakura) viewing festivals and picnics. Hanami, literally “flower viewing,” begins as early as January on the island of Okinawa, or as late as May in Japan’s northern-most island, Hokkaido. March and April tend to be the prime time for cherry blossom viewing around the Tokyo or Kyoto areas, though, and a very popular time for tourists who care to brave the masses and compete for a good viewing spot.