Japan in the pink again

It is that time of the year again when Japan rolls out its famous "pink carpet" of cherry blossoms to herald the arrival of spring.

And when it comes to prime viewing spots of the blushing blooms, the Chidorigafuchi moat of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo is second to none, according to some travel enthusiasts.

Visitors get to enjoy the view on boats that float under canopies of the flowers that cascade in waves from a thousand trees along the sloping sides of the moat.

The cherry blossoms, or sakura, in Japan bloom roughly around late March and last till about early May in an average year.

This year, the cherry blossoms have opened and reached their peak faster than normal because of a warm spell.

Temperatures inched past 20 deg C this week, which is about 4 deg C higher than usual.

For locals and tourists, it is reason enough to congregate in parks to eat, drink and be merry with friends and family while basking in the rosy-hued outdoors - in the time-honoured tradition of the Japanese, who have been doing this for centuries now.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 01, 2016, with the headline 'Japan in the pink again'. Print Edition | Subscribe