Cherry blossoms are known for blooming and falling in a short space of time. Because of this the Japanese view cherry blossoms as being a symbol of life.
Cherry blossoms serve as a reminder that life is fleeting and to make the most of the time we are given.
The Buddhist meaning is similar to this. As Buddhists believe we should exist in the moment and that we should remind ourselves every day that we are only here for a short time. So for Buddhists the cherry blossom is a powerful symbol.
In Japan the cherry blossom is so important that they have a yearly festival called hanami where thousands of people arrive to feast under the cherry blossom trees for the short time that they are in bloom.
This festival also takes place in New York since Japan gave 3000 cherry blossom trees to the US as a gift to reinforce the growing friendship between the two countries.
Cherry blossoms have a firm place in Japanese history as a symbol of nationalism. A fallen cherry blossom for example represents a fallen samurai. Because of this, during World War II, cherry blossoms were painted on the sides of the kamikaze planes.
Cherry blossoms can easily be incorporated into a sleeve or larger tattoo or as a standalone tattoo. Full branches are often combined with other things such as birds or butterflies to create great looking pieces of artwork.