Early start for Japan’s favorite springtime event.

There’s nothing about spring that Japan loves more than cherry blossoms, and with the flowers only staying on the trees for a short time after opening, there’s always a buzzing anticipation for when the sakura season will get underway. So on Sunday Tokyoites were happy to receive the official declaration from the Japan Meteorological Agency that sakura are now blooming in Japan’s capital city.

If you’re wondering what the technical criteria is for declaring the start of sakura season, the agency has a designated cherry blossom tree on the grounds of Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine that it uses as its standard. The tree is a Some-yoshino tree, the most popular (though not the only) kind of cherry blossom, and once a total of 10 buds on its branches open into flowers, the tree is considered in bloom, and its benchmark status is then applied to Tokyo as a whole.

▼ The sakura standard tree at Yasukuni Shrine

This year’s Tokyo blossoming comes four days earlier than average, and six days earlier than 2021’s later-than-usual opening. That doesn’t mean that all the sights of Tokyo are framed in pink petals just yet, though. Like a metaphor for a relaxed spring picnic, the cherry blossoms take their time going from just opened to full bloom, and the agency is currently estimating that they’ll reach full bloom in six to nine days from now.

Source: The Sankei News
Top image: Pakutaso
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