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Why not skip packed ‘hanami’ sites and enjoy nature at is best?

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It feels this winter is definitely giving way to spring far earlier than usual. This is probably making cherry blossoms impatient to get their annual show on the road.

According to the Japan Weather Association, the flowers are expected to start blooming on March 17 in central Tokyo, nine days earlier than usual. However, the new coronavirus that's going around now may put a damper on this year's "hanami" cherry blossom viewing parties.

But if all one wants to do is to simply sit outside on the grass and savor sake, there is absolutely no need to head to some popular--and invariably overcrowded--cherry viewing spot. In fact, you don't even need........

© The Asahi Shimbun