As cherry blossoms begin to bloom and revelers prepare to experience the seasonal spectacle, the nation will soon be blanketed with the dainty petals that not only bring people together but also boost the economy.

For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic — when large gatherings were discouraged and at times blocked by local authorities — cherry blossom viewing, or hanami, is expected to bring an influx of revelers estimated to have a positive economic impact of ¥615.8 billion ($4.57 billion), according to Katsuhiro Miyamoto, a professor emeritus at Kansai University. Miyamoto's latest study was released on Friday.

The 2023 estimate is triple that of last year's figure of about ¥201.6 billion. Miyamoto’s 2022 study found that roughly 57% of people polled were not thinking about eating or drinking at hanami and that only 11.1% of people felt the desire to have beer or any other alcoholic beverage when viewing cherry blossoms.