花見 Cherry Blossom Viewing

The coming of Spring heralds a national pastime in Japan: cherry blossom viewing. Cherry trees are ubiquitous throughout the country and the blossoming of the trees are traced from the southernmost regions of Kyushu to Hokkaido in the north. In some parks, such as the extremely popular Ueno Park, cherry blossom viewing nearly becomes a sport, with hundreds of thousands of cherry blossom admirers using their bodies (and elbows) to vie for the best photo or picnicking spots. Early in the season, as it is now, the few trees that have bloomed early in Tokyo are besieged by dozens of photographers.

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