Hints of spring come to Amami during the midst of winter. Being a southern island of Japan, Amami Oshima sees cherry blossoms much earlier than most of the rest of Japan. Various cherry blossoms bloom, but the dark pink, bell-shaped flower is the most prominent on the island. These cherry blossoms are called ‘hikanzakura’ and bloom from late January through early February on Amami.
Pictured is a Japanese white-eye, or 'mejiro,' bird in a cherry blossom tree. This photo was taken at Sakibaru viewpoint near Sakibaru road, home to many beautiful cherry blossom trees that birds, and people, flock over to enjoy.