The earliest cherry blossom festival has started on the island of Okinawa in Japan. Here, on Mount Yaedake, about seven thousand hikanzakura trees grow. The flowers started to bloom about a week earlier than usual. The trees at the top of the mountain are already in full bloom, informs NHK WORLD-JAPAN News.
As you know, cherry blossom is the main spring event in Japan. The Japanese call cherry blossom viewing o-hanami or hanami for short. The official starting point for the beginning of cherry blossom is considered to be the time of blooming of the first flowers on cherry blossoms growing in the ancient Buddhist temple of Yasukuni in Tokyo. As soon as the first pink flowers appear from the buds, the meteorological services immediately announce the beginning of flowering in that particular year.
But the fact is, that Japan is significantly stretched from north to south, and in the south of Japan (Kyushu and Okinawa), sakura blooms in February.
The cherry blossom season is not an official holiday in Japan. But psychologically it is undoubtedly a holiday. On the days of cherry blossom, parks, squares, alleys and even the territory of temples with cherry blossoms are visited by a huge number of people.
The flowering period is relatively short, so they are admired both in the daytime and in the evening. Evening viewing of sakura is incredibly popular: after 6 pm the trees are illuminated in an original way, and a walk in such an atmosphere is filled with romanticism and some mystery.
The Japanese tradition of admiring the flowering of trees is over 1000 years old.