The average planned budget for cherry blossom viewing this spring in Japan edged down from the previous year amid the impact of inflation, a recent private-sector survey showed.

People planning to go to see the flowers will likely spend an average of 6,872 yen ($47) per person, down 0.9 percent, although a larger number of people are expected to enjoy the popular seasonal event in Japan compared to last year, Tokyo-based marketing firm Intage Inc. said.

People view cherry blossoms in full bloom at an avenue extending for 1 kilometer on Tokyo's Meguro River as paper lanterns are lit up on March 25, 2023. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Some 57.8 percent said rising prices have affected their behavior, causing them to make cost-saving measures, including reducing their spending while going to view cherry blossoms or refraining from taking such trips altogether, the online survey covering 2,500 people aged 15 to 79 in February showed.

"The fact that the budget remains nearly flat from the previous year despite increasing prices means that people are effectively tightening" their outlays, an official at Intage said.

Those planning to go cherry blossom viewing rose 3.2 percentage points to 34.5 percent, but the company said the gain is "somewhat slow" given that this cherry blossom season will be the first since the removal of coronavirus restrictions.

When asked in a multiple-choice question where they planned to travel to in order to see the blossoms, the largest at 73.1 percent picked a "location nearby, during the daytime," up 2.9 points from the previous year, the survey showed.

Those planning to go on a day trip or drive to visit a famous cherry blossom viewing spot dropped 1.4 points to 13.5 percent, while those scheduling an overnight trip edged down 0.6 point to 3.7 percent, the survey showed.

This year, the blooming of "Somei Yoshino" cherry trees is expected to start from Tuesday in central Tokyo, followed by western and eastern Japan, with those in northeastern Japan doing so later in the month, according to private weather company Weathernews Inc.

The famous trees will come into full bloom five to 10 days after flowering, it said.

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