Japan cherry blossoms reach peak bloom in “flower-raft” Aomori Pref. park

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Someiyoshino cherry blossoms in full bloom reflect in the water at Hirosaki Park on Thursday in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture. Echoing last year, the flowers first opened on April 14 — likely due to this month’s warm weather — marking the second-fastest bloom since records began in 1947. Many people have been visiting the park prior to the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival that starts Saturday. The cherry trees are illuminated in the evening, and people can enjoy looking at the petal-strewn water of the outer moat from Saturday, at the earliest. (In Japanese, water-borne petals are known as hana-ikada, literally, “flower-rafts.”) Due the novel coronavirus pandemic, alcohol sales and eating and drinking while walking in the park are prohibited.