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.Festivals are also held every year to mark the cherry blossom season in many famous viewing spots.Currently it is widely distributed, especially in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere including Japan, Taiwan, Korea, China, West Siberia, Iran, Pakistan, India, Canada, and the United States.The flower is also represented on all manner of consumer goods in Japan, including kimono, stationery, and dishware.The Sakurakai or Cherry Blossom Society was the name chosen by young officers within the Imperial Japanese Army in September 1930 for their secret society established with the goal of reorganizing the state along totalitarian militaristic lines, via a military coup d'état if necessary.Japan has more types of cherry trees than any other country, over 200 in all.
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The start blooming in the south at the end of March and work their way north to Hokkaido in May.
This helps people plan their flower-viewing outings.
So the cherry blossoms make people think of new beginnings.
When they are in bloom, people make special visits to parks and other spots with many cherry trees; often they have picnics under the branches with family and friends.
The custom of hanami dates back many centuries in Japan.