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Cherry blossoms to bloom early, so plan accordingly

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS / MARCH 2019
                                Cherry blossoms in Yokohama, near Tokyo, are a magnet for sightseers.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS / MARCH 2019

    Cherry blossoms in Yokohama, near Tokyo, are a magnet for sightseers.

TOKYO >> Cherry blossom season is expected to arrive in Tokyo a week earlier than usual this year, with full bloom expected on March 27, according to a forecast released Jan. 10 by Japan Meteorological Corp., an Osaka-based weather-forecasting company.

The company said Tokyo and Kochi prefectures will be the first to see the iconic flowers bloom, on March 19.

The company said the early arrival of the flowers is related to high temperatures in autumn and winter, as well as projected warm and sunny spring weather. According to the forecast, which is subject to updates, other parts of the country should also prepare for an earlier cherry blossom season since warm weather is predicted across the nation throughout spring.

The cherry blossoms are slated to arrive on March 20 in Fukuoka, March 21 in Nagoya, March 22 in Hiroshima, March 23 in Kyoto, March 25 in Osaka and Kagoshima, April 1 in Kanazawa and April 7 in Sendai, the company said.

The flowers are expected to reach full bloom on March 27 in Tokyo and Kochi, March 29 in Fukuoka, April 1 in Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima.

In Hokkaido, the flowers are expected to start blooming on May 1 and reach full bloom on May 5.

The forecast is based on data taken from the blooming characteristics of the someiyoshino (Yoshino cherry tree), the most common type of cherry blossom, known for its pale pink flowers.

With its subtropical climate, Okinawa Prefecture is usually the first to see the arrival of cherry blossom season in January. But the varieties blooming there — okanzakura and kanhizakura — differ from those in the rest of the nation.

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