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Japan's Flower Viewing Tradition

TOKYO, JAPAN - APRIL 07: Business men walk through an area used for 'Hanami' or Flower-viewing parties on the final day of the cherry blossom season in Ueno Park, on April 7, 2015 in Tokyo, Japan. During cherry blossom season thousands of people gather across Japan to practice 'Hanami' (Flower-viewing parties) the centuries old tradition of picnicking under a blooming Sakura tree. Hanami is said to have started during the Nara Period and still today people gather wherever cherry blossom trees are blooming and enjoy food and drinks often well into the night. As cherry blossom season coincides with the beginning of the new school year and the beginning of the business year many hanami parties are also used by companies and organizations to welcome new employees and bring staff together. The Cherry blossom season only lasts for an average of two weekends and the "cherry blossom front" is forecast each year by the Japan Meteorological Agency as it moves across Japan, it is tracked by many people planning to celebrate Hanami, so as to get a prime position under trees in full bloom, often companies will have younger employees reserve a spot hours or even days before the planned party. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Japan's Flower Viewing Tradition
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