If you're looking for cherry blossoms (桜) in Japan, look no further than Beppu (別府) in Oita Prefecture, Kyushu. Apparently the rumors surrounding an early blooming season were found to be true. But February 25th? Three weeks early? It's a crazy world.
Be sure to look around Beppu Park (picture) and the Kannawa area. Not all are in full bloom, but it shouldn't be long.