The Japan Tourism Agency opened a cherry blossom exhibition in Shanghai on Saturday in a bid to draw more Chinese visitors during the upcoming hanami season.

The two-day event is the largest of its kind since bilateral ties plunged to their lowest level in recent times after Japan in September 2012 purchased three of the five main Senkaku Islands, which China also claims, in the East China Sea.

The exhibition, held at a major shopping mall in Shanghai, features popular cherry blossom and tourist attractions as well as Japanese foods from more than a dozen prefectures and cities.

Shanghai has the largest concentration of affluent Chinese who frequently travel overseas, and the agency hopes the exhibition will spur interest in traveling to Japan.

The event also enabled Japanese companies that specialize in offering comprehensive medical checkups for foreign visitors to promote "medical tourism" in Japan.