Finally the cherry blossoms are in full bloom! These photos are from earlier today in Tokyo's Shinjuku Gyoen national garden. People are flocking to the best spots for cherry blossom viewing, gasping over the beauty of the Sakura, taking photos and enjoying a picknick with friends under the cherry trees.
The practice of Hanami, blossom viewing, is an old tradition in Japanese culture dating back to the 8th century. What started as an exclusive activity for noble people have developed into a popular feast for everyone. This weekend thousands of people will fill up the parks arranging Hanami parties to late at night. This year the celebrations are even more joyful as a result of the cold spring that have kept people waiting and impatiently following the cherry blossom forecasts.