In Japan, the cherry blossom or sakura has been a symbolic flower of spring since ancient times, marking a time of renewal and hope. Widely celebrated in Japanese literature, poetry, and art since the 8th century, Japanese people’s fascination with sakura has never waned. The pale pink petals and unassuming appearance of each blossom can create a stunningly beautiful scene on a mass scale. There is the ongoing tradition of Hanami – holding picnic parties to enjoy the transient beauty of the cherry blossom – which continues to be one of the biggest annual events in Japan. Between March and May the Japan Meteorological Agency records the opening and full bloom of the blossoms from the south to the north of the archipelago, and the advancing ‘cherry blossom front’ is included in daily weather updates. A stunning exhibition of cherry blossom scenes from around Japan is on display daily in the Village Centre 9:00am – 4:00pm. This exhibition is sponsored by the Embassy of Japan and the Friends of the National Arboretum Canberra.