China, Japan and South Korea may have their differences, but they mostly see eye-to-eye on cherry blossoms.
In all three north Asian countries, people flock to parks, gardens and temples to enjoy the beauty of the pinkish-white petals, often in the lingering chill of early spring.
The shared natural heritage has been a minor source of conflict: Japan is the most well-known for cherry blossoms, but researchers in South Korea and China have argued that their country is the birthplace of the cherry tree.
The horticultural disagreement seems far removed from the “oohs” and “ahs” of the admiring crowds, busy taking selfies and photographs.
In a series of triptychs, Associated Press photographers in Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo capture the ways people in each country interact with the blossoms. Each set of images focuses on a theme: architecture, children, couples, picnics and others. The combined photos are notable as much for their similarities as their differences.
PHOTOS: Cherry Blossoms from North Asia