“Hanami” is an important Japanese custom and is held all over in the spring. Hanami literally means viewing flowers, but it generally refers to cherry blossom viewing. The origin of hanami dates back more than one thousand years when aristocrats enjoyed looking at beautiful cherry blossoms and writing poems. The most popular kind of Japanese cherry (sakura) tree which can be found everywhere in Japan is somei-yoshino (Yedoensis). Sakura trees bloom at different times throughout Japan, but the blooming period of somei-yoshino is usually short. Cherry blossom festivals take place all over the country. Gorgeous flowers are the main attractions of the festivals but a variety of traditional Japanese performing arts presented in many festivals can’t be missed.