The season of hanami, the Japanese tradition of flower viewing, is in full swing. And thanks to technology, you can experience it from your sofa.

Spring is out there, even though the current situation makes it impossible to appreciate its beauty. While most of us have to stay safe at home, nature clearly doesn’t care and follows its own rhythm, uninterrupted.

Thousands of tourists usually flock to Japan in early April to be amazed by the indescribable splendor of the local cherry blossom festivals. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, is forcing the country to ban arrivals from a growing list of states as it aims to curb the numbers of infected citizens.

Luckily, modern technology allows us to travel without ever leaving the couch. And you too can now enjoy the majesty of sakura celebrations and visit some of the most picturesque locations thanks to Weather News, which has just released a compilation of free videos shot in 360-degree style.

The VR-ready movies will beam you up to the estates of the Hirosaki Castle, take you on a sail down the Tokyo’s Meguro River, and on a trip across the Arashiyama groves in Kyoto.

Sakura Project

You can watch 360Β° videos on desktop or through VR headsets.

Most videos depicting beautiful landscapes are accompanied by atmospheric music, which makes them perfect for long moments of tranquility and relaxation.

In case you seek peace in these turbulent times, you can also take up a free online course on happiness and positivity from Yale University.

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