Because of the warm weather we have this year the Sakura was available much earlier than usual. The offical projection is around Mar 18th but there are already some Sakura in the Sinjuku Gyoen. Japanese have a deep fond of Sakura, and it's the symbol for Spring where you have the new school year, fiscal year...etc. In some company the first job the new employee get is to grab a place under the Sakura for viewing by their colleagues at night! We call this 場所取り (basyo-tori). More photos are available here.