This year, however, winter's unusually cold weather has pushed back the blooming of the Kawazu cherry blossoms by about three weeks compared to the average year.
The cherry blossoms along the Kawazugawa river were finally in full bloom on March 9. Despite the temperature being a chilly 9 degrees on a rainy day, cherry blossom lovers turned out to view the first sign of the coming of spring.
Anticipating a normal year, the Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival was originally scheduled to run from Feb. 5 to March 10. But the festival has now been extended to March 18 because of the late-blooming sakura.
"This is the first time the cherry blossoms have been this late in blooming," said Hiroko Shimazaki, Kawazu Tourist Association secretary-general.