Japan’s favorite flower, called “Sakura”, reached its peak in April, the way the country celebrates the start of its new school and business year. Yet that date kept creeping up earlier and now most of the year blossoms from the first day of school.
Japan’s favorite flower, Satura
The peak bloom this year reached the ancient capital of Kyoto on 26 March, as Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) began collecting data in 1953 and was 10 days ahead of the 30-year average. Similar records were created in more than a dozen cities in Japan this year.
Some say it is the first peak of Kyoto based on historical documents, records of diaries and books of poetry. Yasuyuki Aiono, a scientist at the University of Osaka Prefecture tracking such documents, said that the blossoms found earlier this year were observed on March 27, 1612, 1409 and 1236, although there are no records for some years.
“We can say that this is most likely due to the effects of global warming,” said Shunji Ambe, an officer in the observation division at JMA.
The agency tracks 58 “benchmark” cherry trees nationwide, and 40 people have already reached their peak this year and 14 have done so in record time. The tree usually blooms for about two weeks from all the flowers that fall from the first bud each year.
Cherry trees are sensitive to temperature changes and their bloom time can provide valuable data for climate change studies, Abe said.
According to agency data, the average temperature for March in Kyoto has climbed from 8.63 in 2020 to 10.6 ° C in 1953. The average for this year so far, Japan has a March temperature of 12.4 degrees Celsius.
Sakura has deeply influenced Japanese culture for centuries and is regularly seen in poetry and literature as a symbol of life, death and rebirth.
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