Cherry blossoms in Japan bloom early for a sakura surprise!
The world famous cherry blossoms of Japan bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to see them and this year they have come early!
Every year, the cherry trees of Japan are laden with beautiful pink blossoms. The little flowers mean people come from all over the world to Japan to see them and obviously take some pictures! This woman is doing just that in Japan's capital Tokyo.
The cherry blossoms are known as 'sakura' and their bloom only lasts for a short time. Many Japanese see the trees blooming as a reminder that life is precious. During the blossoming time of year you can even get yourself a sakura pink cappuccino - or maybe a pink chocolate bar suits you better!
Springtime cherry blossom viewing or 'hanami', has been going on for a very long time although no one is 100 percent sure when it first started. There are mentions of it in Japanese writings from over a thousand years ago. Hanami is really important in Japan and the floors and walkways under the cherry trees are always packed with people enjoying a picnic with family and friends, or those just walking around taking in the beautiful sights.
Sakura is widely seen as Japan's unofficial national flower. There are lots of different varieties of cherry trees and they only bloom for a few days which makes it an even more special event, although some trees may bloom for a week. Sakura can be different colours including white and pink!
The sakura bloom is so popular that there is a special forecast so everyone can keep up to date with when the bloom will arrive! It is run by the National Park service, so if you are off to Japan around March and you want to get the sakura low down, they are your best bet!