world

Japan's has earliest start to cherry blossom season since records began in 812 as flowers bloom


Japan‘s famous cherry blossoms have reached their flowery peak in many places earlier this year than at any time since the first records began in 812 AD, over 1,200 years ago.  

Japan’s favourite flower, called ‘sakura,’ used to reach their peak bloom in April, just as the country celebrates the start of its new school and business year. 

Yet that date has been creeping earlier and now most years the blossoms are largely gone before the first day of the Japanese school year, which starts in April. 

Japan’s famous cherry blossoms have reached their flowery peak in many places earlier this year than at any time since formal records started

Japan's favourite flower, called 'sakura,' used to reach their peak bloom in April, just as the country celebrates the start of its new school and business year

Japan’s favourite flower, called ‘sakura,’ used to reach their peak bloom in April, just as the country celebrates the start of its new school and business year

Cherry blossom season is a time for celebration in Japan as it falls just before the country's new year (pictured, a woman wearing a wedding dress poses for pictures in front of this year's bloom)

Cherry blossom season is a time for celebration in Japan as it falls just before the country’s new year (pictured, a woman wearing a wedding dress poses for pictures in front of this year’s bloom)

The date when the trees start to bloom has been creeping earlier and now most years the blossoms are largely gone before the first day of school

The date when the trees start to bloom has been creeping earlier and now most years the blossoms are largely gone before the first day of school

Some parts of Japan, including Hiroshima, Osaka, and Niigata, are still waiting for the cherry trees to reach peak bloom and yellow dust - airborne particles carried toJapan from deserts in China and Mongolia - has been seen instead

Some parts of Japan, including Hiroshima, Osaka, and Niigata, are still waiting for the cherry trees to reach peak bloom and yellow dust – airborne particles carried toJapan from deserts in China and Mongolia – has been seen instead

This year peak bloom was reached on March 26 in the ancient capital of Kyoto, the earliest ever recorded bloom according to imperial court documents and diaries dating back to 812 AD.   

The data was collected by Yasuyuki Aono, a researcher at Osaka Prefecture University, using diaries and chronicles written by emperors, aristocrats, governors, and monks.    

This year’s bloom is also the earliest since the Japan Meteorological Agency started collecting the data in 1953 and 10 days ahead of the 30-year average. Similar records were set this year in more than a dozen cities across Japan.  

Aono said the earliest blooms he has found before this year were March 27 in the years 1612, 1409 and 1236, though there are not records for some years. 

The time of the peak bloom in Kyoto had been moving earlier in the year, from mid-April to the start of the month, from 1800 onwards, data shows.  

‘We can say it’s most likely because of the impact of the global warming,’ said Shunji Anbe, an official at the observations division at the Japan Meteorological Agency. 

This year peak bloom was reached on March 26 in the ancient capital of Kyoto, the earliest since the Japan Meteorological Agency started collecting the data in 1953

This year's blossom has come ten days ahead of the 30-year average (pictured, people enjoy this year's blossom at Chidorigafuchi Moat, Tokyo)

This year’s blossom has come ten days ahead of the 30-year average (pictured, people enjoy this year’s blossom at Chidorigafuchi Moat, Tokyo)

Most varieties of cherry tree produce pink or white blossom, but there are species which bloom with yellow, dark pink, or green flowers

Most varieties of cherry tree produce pink or white blossom, but there are species which bloom with yellow, dark pink, or green flowers

Tokyo residents rush out to take photos of the early cherry blossom bloom. This is the second year in a row the peak bloom has been declared at the earliest date since records began in 1953

Tokyo residents rush out to take photos of the early cherry blossom bloom. This is the second year in a row the peak bloom has been declared at the earliest date since records began in 1953

Osaka Prefecture University environmental scientist Yasuyuki Aono, who tracks such documents, said the earliest blooms he has found before this year were March 27

Osaka Prefecture University environmental scientist Yasuyuki Aono, who tracks such documents, said the earliest blooms he has found before this year were March 27

The cherry trees, which are known for being sensitive to temperature changes, normally bloom for about two weeks each year from first bud to all the blossoms falling off

Cherry trees do exist, and bloom, in other countries across the world, but the flowers hold special cultural and historical significance in Japan

Cherry trees do exist, and bloom, in other countries across the world, but the flowers hold special cultural and historical significance in Japan 

This year, celebrations which normally take place as a result of the bloom, have been curtailed because of the coronavirus pandemic

This year, celebrations which normally take place as a result of the bloom, have been curtailed because of the coronavirus pandemic 

The agency tracks 58 ‘benchmark’ cherry trees across the country, and this year 40 of those already have reached their peak bloom and 14 have done so in record time.

The trees normally bloom for about two weeks each year from first bud to all the blossoms falling off.

Cherry trees are sensitive to temperature changes and the timing of their blooming can provide valuable data for climate change studies, Anbe said.

According to the agency data, the average temperature for March in Kyoto has climbed to 10.6 degrees Celsius (51.1 F) in 2020 from 8.6 C (47.5 F) in 1953. So far this year’s average March temperature in Japan has been 12.4 C (54.3 F).

Sakura have deeply influenced Japanese culture for centuries and regularly been used in poetry and literature with their fragility seen as a symbol of life, death and rebirth.

Japanese farmers used to bloom as a signal for when they should plant their rice crops, but now the annual bloom simply represents hope, spring, beauty, and new life.   

The cherry trees hold such significance in Japan that the shape of their blossom has been used as inspiration for the 2021 Olympics mascot. 

The cherry trees hold such significance in Japan that the shape of their blossom has been used as inspiration for the 2021 Olympics mascot

The cherry trees hold such significance in Japan that the shape of their blossom has been used as inspiration for the 2021 Olympics mascot 

Japanese usually celebrate by meeting family and friends for picnics, known as hanami parties, in the parks where the trees are planted (pictured, Ueno Park, Toyko)

Japanese usually celebrate by meeting family and friends for picnics, known as hanami parties, in the parks where the trees are planted (pictured, Ueno Park, Toyko)

Japan's cherry trees have bloomed at a record-breaking pace this year and are currently at peak bloom across western and eastern Japan, as well as in Tokyo and Kyoto

Japan’s cherry trees have bloomed at a record-breaking pace this year and are currently at peak bloom across western and eastern Japan, as well as in Tokyo and Kyoto

Tokyo residents walk through one of the city's parks where the cherry trees are in full bloom. The peak bloom was declared after the Japan Meteorological Corporation spotted five blooms on its sample tree in Tokyo

Tokyo residents walk through one of the city’s parks where the cherry trees are in full bloom. The peak bloom was declared after the Japan Meteorological Corporation spotted five blooms on its sample tree in Tokyo

The Cherry trees normally bloom for about two weeks each year from first bud to all the blossoms falling off, normally at the start of the Japanese new year in April

The Cherry trees normally bloom for about two weeks each year from first bud to all the blossoms falling off, normally at the start of the Japanese new year in April

Japanese have rushed to take pictures of this year's cherry blossom (pictured, a masked woman takes photos of the bloom in Tokyo)

Japanese have rushed to take pictures of this year’s cherry blossom (pictured, a masked woman takes photos of the bloom in Tokyo)

 Japanese farmers used to bloom as a signal for when they should plant their rice crops, but now the annual bloom simply represents hope, spring, beauty, and new life

Cherry trees have deeply influenced Japanese culture for centuries and regularly been used in poetry and literature with their fragility seen as a symbol of life, death and rebirth

Cherry trees have deeply influenced Japanese culture for centuries and regularly been used in poetry and literature with their fragility seen as a symbol of life, death and rebirth



READ SOURCE

Leave a Reply

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.  Learn more