Find it annoying that Easter’s on a different weekend every year? Then imagine how you’d fel about a holiday whose date was announced each year by the local weather bureau.
The name of Japan’s annual Hanami festival literally translates as “flower viewing”; it’s celebrated during the fleeting week or two when the cherry trees bloom.
Local forecasters release a “blossm forecast” (yes, really) early in the year, and, based on this estimate, locals plan outdoor parties in parks and gardens to make the most of the week of blossoms. Local governments, too, must prepare for the short-notice influx of revellers in public spaces and parks.
The festival strikes different areas of the country at different times, starting with the southern islands of Okinawa. This week, the blossom reached Tokyo.