Photos: Cherry Blossom Season Arrives in Tokyo

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Cherry blossoms, or sakura, are deeply embedded in Japanese culture—Their delicate nature symbolizes the arrival of spring and the fleeting nature and beauty of life. Hanami, or picnicking under a blooming sakura tree, is a tradition in Japan that dates back at least to the third century.

Related: Where to Chase Cherry Blossoms This Spring


The brief season for these delicate blooms begins in Okinawa in January and, reaches  Tokyo in late March or early April, lasting for only a few weeks. Locals stroll through the hundreds of sakura trees in Ueno Park, sip sake amid the blossoms in Shinjuku Gyoen, and marvel at the illuminated trees along Meguro River during the Nakameguro Sakura Festival. The Japan Meteorological Agency uses a cherry tree on the grounds of the Yasukuni Shrine is used to officially declare that the flowers are in bloom in Tokyo.

Below, check out highlights from the 2019 cherry blossom season in Tokyo. 

 

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Illuminated Cherry blossom trees are seen at the Meguro River on March 28, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images
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A man rides a bicycle under cherry blossom trees on March 31, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)
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People ride a boat near cherry blossom trees at the Meguro River on March 31, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images
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A man takes a photograph of cherry blossom trees at the Chidorigafuchi Moat on March 31, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images
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People ride row boats near cherry trees at the Chidorigafuchi Moat on March 28, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images
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People talk under cherry blossom trees during 'Hanami' flower-viewing parties in front of the Tokyo Skytree on March 31, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Takashi Aoyama/Getty
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People view cherry blossom trees at the Chidorigafuchi Moat on March 31, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images
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A woman takes a photograph with her smartphone of blooming cherry blossom trees at the National Theatre of Japan on March 27, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images
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A woman views cherry blossom trees along the Meguro River on March 27, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images
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Cherry blossom grows at the Chidorigafuchi Moat on March 31, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images
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People view cherry blossom trees at the Meguro River on March 31, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. The blossom is deeply symbolic in Japan, it only lasts for around one week and marks the beginning of spring. Takashi Aoyama/Getty