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The blossoming begins in Okinawa in January, and typically reaches Kyoto and Tokyo at the end of March or the beginning of April.
It proceeds into areas at the higher altitudes and northward, arriving in Hokkaido a few weeks later.
Arguments that the plans for the Battle of Leyte Gulf, involving all Japanese ships, would expose Japan to serious danger if they failed, were countered with the plea that the Navy be permitted to "bloom as flowers of death".
Cherry blossoms are a prevalent symbol in Irezumi, the traditional art of Japanese tattoos.
Its flowers are nearly pure white, tinged with the palest pink, especially near the stem.
They bloom and usually fall within a week, before the leaves come out.
Most Japanese schools and public buildings have cherry blossom trees outside of them.
Hanami festivals celebrate the beauty of the cherry blossom and for many are a chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful view.
But precisely when during that period varies year to year. The Kwanzan cherry blossoms are particularly pretty and tend to come out 10-14 days after the Yoshinos.
So if you miss the end of the Yoshino cherry blossoms' bloom, the Kwanzans can offer beautiful consolation.
Many of the varieties that have been cultivated for ornamental use produce small, unpalatable fruit.