Photos: Cherry Blossoms bloom early in Japan as climate warms

  • Japan sees the earliest cherry blossoms on record this year, linking the early sakura season to the world's warming climate. In the ancient capital of Kyoto, cherry blossoms hit their peak on March 26 -- 10 days sooner than average and the earliest since the government started taking records in 1953. Most of these designated trees are of the best-known and beloved Yoshino variety -- known for its white-pink flowers that bloom for about two weeks then fall in showers of small confetti-like petals. Japan's sakura or cherry blossom season is traditionally celebrated with hanami, or viewing parties, with picnics -- and sometimes boozy festivities -- organised beneath the trees. But this year gatherings have been discouraged to reduce the spread of coronavirus cases.
PUBLISHED ON APR 03, 2021 04:10 PM IST 8 Photos
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Children play next to a blooming cherry tree at a park in Tokyo, Japan, on March 31. According to the Japanese national weather agency cherry trees in the country are reaching full bloom in record time this year, linking the early sakura season to the world's warming climate, AFP reported.(Kim Kyung-Hoon / REUTERS)

Children play next to a blooming cherry tree at a park in Tokyo, Japan, on March 31. According to the Japanese national weather agency cherry trees in the country are reaching full bloom in record time this year, linking the early sakura season to the world's warming climate, AFP reported.(Kim Kyung-Hoon / REUTERS)

PUBLISHED ON APR 03, 2021 04:10 PM IST
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Visitors take pictures on a bridge as cherry blossoms bloom over Meguro River, in Tokyo, on March 28. "Our studies have shown that the start of cherry blossom season is closely linked with the average temperature in February and March," Shunji Ambe, a Japan Meteorological Agency official, told AFP.(Kiichiro Sato / AP)

Visitors take pictures on a bridge as cherry blossoms bloom over Meguro River, in Tokyo, on March 28. "Our studies have shown that the start of cherry blossom season is closely linked with the average temperature in February and March," Shunji Ambe, a Japan Meteorological Agency official, told AFP.(Kiichiro Sato / AP)

PUBLISHED ON APR 03, 2021 04:10 PM IST
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Cherry blossoms and the Tokyo Skytree, Japan's tallest structure at 634 meters (2,080 feet), in Tokyo on April 1. "Our observations of plant life show that spring phenomena (such as cherry and plum blossoms) tend to take place earlier, while autumn phenomena are delayed," Ambe added.(Charly Triballeau / AFP)

Cherry blossoms and the Tokyo Skytree, Japan's tallest structure at 634 meters (2,080 feet), in Tokyo on April 1. "Our observations of plant life show that spring phenomena (such as cherry and plum blossoms) tend to take place earlier, while autumn phenomena are delayed," Ambe added.(Charly Triballeau / AFP)

PUBLISHED ON APR 03, 2021 04:10 PM IST
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A woman wearing a face mask carries a dog while she photographs it under cherry blossoms in Tokyo, on March 26.(Eugene Hoshiko / AP)

A woman wearing a face mask carries a dog while she photographs it under cherry blossoms in Tokyo, on March 26.(Eugene Hoshiko / AP)

PUBLISHED ON APR 03, 2021 04:10 PM IST
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Commuters walk under cherry blossoms, in Tokyo, on March 26. On average, Tokyo's cherry trees reach full bloom on April 2. This year the capital's cherry blossom peaked on March 22, a day slower than the earliest logged in 2002, AFP reported.(Eugene Hoshiko / AP)

Commuters walk under cherry blossoms, in Tokyo, on March 26. On average, Tokyo's cherry trees reach full bloom on April 2. This year the capital's cherry blossom peaked on March 22, a day slower than the earliest logged in 2002, AFP reported.(Eugene Hoshiko / AP)

PUBLISHED ON APR 03, 2021 04:10 PM IST
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Visitors enjoy blooming cherry blossoms from paddle boats in Tokyo, on March 29. Of the 58 officially designated "observation cherry trees" across Japan, 24 began to flower at the earliest date on record. 14 also reached full bloom in record time. AFP reported citing the Japanese national weather agency data.(Koji Sasahara / AP)

Visitors enjoy blooming cherry blossoms from paddle boats in Tokyo, on March 29. Of the 58 officially designated "observation cherry trees" across Japan, 24 began to flower at the earliest date on record. 14 also reached full bloom in record time. AFP reported citing the Japanese national weather agency data.(Koji Sasahara / AP)

PUBLISHED ON APR 03, 2021 04:10 PM IST
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Commuters walk across a street under a canopy of cherry blossoms, in Tokyo, on March 28. Japan's sakura or cherry blossom season is feverishly anticipated by locals and visitors alike, although this year foreign tourists have been kept away by virus border restrictions.(Kiichiro Sato / AP)

Commuters walk across a street under a canopy of cherry blossoms, in Tokyo, on March 28. Japan's sakura or cherry blossom season is feverishly anticipated by locals and visitors alike, although this year foreign tourists have been kept away by virus border restrictions.(Kiichiro Sato / AP)

PUBLISHED ON APR 03, 2021 04:10 PM IST
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Pedestrians wearing face masks walk under cherry blossoms in Tokyo, on March 30.(Koji Sasahara / AP)

Pedestrians wearing face masks walk under cherry blossoms in Tokyo, on March 30.(Koji Sasahara / AP)

PUBLISHED ON APR 03, 2021 04:10 PM IST
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