From the end of February Japan plays a waiting game in anticipation of the cherry blossom, or sakura, which flowers until May. This pink flower is beloved throughout the country as it symbolises the fleeting beauty of life. When it first blooms everyone wants to see it ‒ the long-standing tradition of welcoming spring and the cherry blossom is known as hanami. There are special cherry blossom festival forecasts on TV to predict when the flower will arrive in certain areas, and travellers take risks booking holidays around spring in the hope that they will catch the cherry blossom. We can’t tell you when the sakura will arrive, but we do know the best places to spot it once it is in bloom.