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National Mall and Memorial Parks Superintendent Gay Vietzke said the earliest recorded peak bloom for the trees is March 15, but it is expected to come as early as March 14 this year.
Peak bloom is defined as the day when 70 percent of the Yoshino cherry trees around the city's Tidal Basin are blossoming.
Following a tradition of admiring ume (plum) tree blossoms that started in the eighth century, which grew into flower-viewing hanami parties organized by Shogun Hideyoshi Toyotomi, Japanese today await the cherry blossom season as a time to enjoy gathering with friends and colleagues.
Beneath the branches of cherry trees, parties filled with seasonal foods and drinks dot the landscape as the somei-yoshino cherry tree flowers bloom in white or pale pink petals for the pleasure of all.
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Approximately 1550 km south of cold Tokyo, Okinawa is enjoying a relatively warm winter and is getting ready for its annual pink shower!
Right after the New Year’s gatherings and other shinnenkai (beginning-of-year parties), Okinawans are ready for a celebration of Mother Nature called “Sakura matsuri.”Blessed with a subtropical climate that attracts many visitors and new settlers, Okinawa is home to the first blossoms in Japan—a premise of the many festivals that will pave the seasons in the prefecture.
Once peak bloom is reached, the blossoms can remain on the trees from four to 10 days.