Lonely Planet Writer

Beautiful cherry blossoms are flowering around Japan

Japan’s cherry blossoms draw people from around the world to enjoy the first – and most incredible – sign of spring. And hanami, or ‘cherry blossom viewing’, is just as popular with people in Japan as it is with eager travellers.

Timing is a must to catch a glimpse of the blossoms, as they flower only for a short period and at different times throughout the country. Luckily, the Japan Meteorological Corporation releases forecasts on when the flowers will open in different regions. A selection of images taken by James Gabriel Martin show people in different places enjoying the seasonal splendour.

People admire cherry blossoms in Kyoto. Image by James Gabriel Martin
People admire cherry blossoms in Kyoto. Image by James Gabriel Martin
Cherry blossoms in Nara. Image by James Gabriel Martin
Cherry blossoms in Nara. Image by James Gabriel Martin
A Nara deer munches on a fallen cherry blossom petal. Image by James Gabriel Martin
A Nara deer munches on a fallen cherry blossom petal. Image by James Gabriel Martin
Cherry blossoms in Ueno Park, Tokyo, a popular spot to admire the flowers. Image by James Gabriel Martin
Cherry blossoms in Ueno Park, Tokyo, a popular spot to admire the flowers. Image by James Gabriel Martin
Cherry blossoms fill a park in Nara. Image by James Gabriel Martin
Cherry blossoms fill a park in Nara. Image by James Gabriel Martin
People admire flowers in Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. Image by James Gabriel Martin
People admire flowers in Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. Image by James Gabriel Martin
Cherry blossoms line the street in Roppongi, a district of Tokyo. Image by James Gabriel Martin
Cherry blossoms line the street in Roppongi, a district of Tokyo. Image by James Gabriel Martin
The light of the setting sun hits the cherry blossoms in Ueno Park, Tokyo during the Sakura Festival in Japan. Image by James Gabriel Martin
The light of the setting sun hits the cherry blossoms in Ueno Park, Tokyo during the Sakura Festival in Japan. Image by James Gabriel Martin
A couple collect fallen Sakura petals along the Kiya-Machi Dori in Kyoto, Japan. Image by James Gabriel Martin
A couple collect fallen Sakura petals along the Kiya-Machi Dori in Kyoto, Japan. Image by James Gabriel Martin