cherry blossoms are the most widely cultivated cherry in japan, particularly around tokyo. when they bloom, there are viewing parties, celebration and a reason given to relax and enjoy.
the transience of their life, a quick bloom and death, is representative of mortality, giving a rich symbolic meaning to mortality.
in 1912, the mayor of tokyo presented the united states with 800 yoshino cherries. you can now view them all over the country. if in nyc, be sure to check out the brooklyn botanical garden. the festival took place the last weekend in march but you can check their site for an interactive map and bloom status of all their varietals of bloom.