In Japan, nothing signifies spring more powerfully than the blooming of the sakura (cherry trees). There is a period of two or three days where the trees are in full bloom (mankai) where all the buds have opened, but the petals have not yet started to fall, and the green leaves have not yet appeared. During this time, people do flower viewing (hanami) in parks or along rivers or anywhere with a lot of sakura trees. They lay plastic sheets on the ground and eat and drink alcohol under the trees. There are various types of cherry trees that bloom at different times, but the most popular is the Yoshino cherry tree, with it's subtle pink (almost white) blossoms. They have been planted all over Japan, but you may not notice them until they blossom and put on their glorious show. I took these photos of Yoshino cherry trees in Heiwa Park in Nagoya, and near Iwakura Castle and Iwakura River in Nisshin. The photos in Heiwa Park were taken when it was raining. I like the look of raindrops on the blossoms, and the soft light created on a rainy day. For the photos near the castle, I was lucky to get a dramatic sky as a backdrop, and the subtle pink was highlighted.