Vibrant pink blossoms bloom set against a beautiful backdrop of green mountains and blue skies. One of the simplest pleasures of this season is to take a leisurely stroll surrounded by nature in its full glory. It is a sign of the joyous arrival of spring, when the white-eye birds shake of winter and start flying around in search of flower nectar. At Mt. Yaedakein in MotobuTown, visitors can drive through the “flower tunnel” of 4,000 Kanhizakura (Taiwanese cherry) trees planted alongside the trail all the way to the mountaintop.
The best period to see the blooming of cherry blossoms in Okinawa is from mid-January to mid-February. The color of the flower petals of the Kanhizakura are dark pink, quite distinctive and different from the Somei-Yoshino cherry trees commonly seen in mainland Japan. Somewhat counterintuitively, the blooming begins from the northern part of Okinawa and advances southward. The most popular viewing sites are Mt. Yaedake in MotobuTown, Nakijin-jo Site (NakijinCastle Remains) in NakijinVillage, and NagoCentral Park in Nago City. There are cherry blossom festivals in various locations, scheduled to coincide with the blooming of the flowers. Every year, a large number of people visit Okinawa so they can enjoy Japan’s earliest cherry blossom blooming.