“Pink Snow” [Hanami]

Many people think the first trees to blossom in Japan are generally beginning in late March and for the most part that is true. But you don’t have to wait that long to check out this year’s first blossoms. If you are eager for an early look, head for Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost prefecture. Thanks to Okinawa’s warmer weather, the flowers begin appearing on cherry trees from mid-January to mid-February.

If you prefer to stay put in Tokyo the real “hanami,” (flower viewing) it begins later this month and early next month when the flowers are starting to blossom and getting wind-blown, as they fall like pink snow.