The Japanese take sakura season very seriously.
This is a country where representatives of the meteorological agency had to take to the television stations to apologise one year when they got their predictions for the flowering season wrong.
Before the flowers bloom however, food and beverage companies are already gearing up with sakura-flavoured foods. This has been a long tradition in Japanese cuisine, beginning with sakura-flavoured mochi, wrapped in salted sakura leaves and stuffed with red bean paste. If you are keen on this traditional treat, Ginza Akebono makes a killer version with pillowy soft mochi, silky red bean paste that is not too sweet, wrapped in a crisp salted sakura leaf.
Nowadays, however the flavour comes in assorted newfangled food products. We round up some of the popular ones.