The tradition of looking at oriental cherry blossoming was born in Japan in the 8th century The custom is said to have started during the Nara Period. Before that, there was another revered tree-the plum (Ume, or Chinese plum and Japanese apricot) which was brought from China.
Twelve centuries later, during the Second World War, the Japanese planted oriental cherry in China, thus claiming their rights on its territory.
Now there are about 200 varieties of oriental cherry trees grow in Japan. One of the oldest trees grows in Yamanashi Prefecture. This tree is probably 1800-2000 years old.