Spring arrives in Japan with first cherry blossoms


Spring officially arrived in Tokyo on Tuesday when Japan's weather agency announced the start of the cherry blossom season.

Forecasters watching trees at the capital's central Yasukuni Shrine said the city's first blossoms had appeared there, marking the beginning of two weeks in which Tokyo's parks, temple grounds, schools and streets will explode in pinks and whites.

"Cherry blossom is a good gauge to let us know that spring is here," a Japan Meteorological Agency official said, adding that this year's first blossoms had appeared at the usual time.

Japanese culture prizes the perfect but delicate blossom, whose transience -- they only last a week -- is seen as a reminder of the fragility of life.

Trees in Tokyo will be in full bloom in about a week's time, turning parks into huge picnic areas where friends, family and colleagues gather for sometimes raucous, alcohol-fueled celebrations that can last for hours.

Much of the west of the country is already in bloom, while the north will see flowers as late as May.

© (c) 2014 AFP

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Hehe. Brushing off the blue dust sheet and my trusty little grill. and down the local offie for a jumbo bottle of nihonshu......

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The cherry blossoms came and went in January - in Okinawa.

In Hokkaido, they'll have to wait another couple of months.

I well remember one of my students telling me about a wonderful holiday she and her husband had. It was to celebrate her husband's retirement. They started with the cherry blossoms in Okinawa in January and continued all the way up to Hokkaido in May.

It must have been incredible.

Cherry blossoms really are very special in Japan. And quite different depending on the region.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

One of the great times of the year. Right up there with the fall colors in Oct/Nov.

And a great excuse to get drunk with friends out in the open air!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Spring and cherry blossums already arrived and finished in Okinawa a while ago --

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Are the cherry blossoms in Okinawa of the somei yoshino variety? They're the real cherry blossoms.

Somei yoshino opened up in Kochi, Shikoku, last week. That's Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's a romantic time of year in Japan. For centuries, poets and composers have waxed lyrical about young love that bloomed or unrequited love that broke a maiden's heart during the season of falling cherry petals.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For those who don't know, there is cherry blossom festival on topsails base this Saturday. It open base and all are welcome.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I meant yokosuka base...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

“Cherry blossom is a good gauge to let us know that spring is here,”

They are not, it's usually still freezing cold when the cherry blossoms start blooming. They are, however, gorgeous, and this calls for a celebration with some ice cold beers!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That'll be great, but be aware of the HUGE crowds around many parks in the Tokyo area (especially Ueno Park).

Mind you, I'd love to be up in the mountains around Yoshino south of Osaka during the height of the sakura season, though.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nice. :)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think Japan has the most beautiful spring time in the world

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Waiting two more months here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wonderful news. so nice to see.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nice to see it..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The thing I don't get about cherry blossom season hype stuff... Japan has cherry blossom most of the year, because they have many types of cherry trees, which bloom during different times of year. For example, they have autumn cherries, which bloom in fall, and winter... So, I fail to register why they pretend it is a spring thing, and only do cherry blossom viewing at that time.

Here, we have palo verde blossoms, but few people appreciate them, and most palo verde trees get cut to look hideous, despite naturally grown palo verdes are quite lovely, and are weeping style trees that reach down to the ground, then fill up with those yellow blossoms every single time conditions are right long enough, often blooming multiple times in one year. (We are currently seeing at least the second bloom of our trees this year. It is likely beyond the second, but I only personally noticed the two. 1-3 more will likely occur before 2015, I predict.)

Trees with flowers like cherry blossoms, and plum blossoms are all over the world, but most people don't appreciate them, or note the beautiful flowers. Cherry trees, plum trees, palo verde, almond trees, peach trees, and so on all have similar blossoms, and many of the trees themselves loo similar.

Plum blossoms are better than cherry, but do not get the hype, and popularity despite both are celebrated in Japan.

I wish I lived somewhere that would celebrate, and appreciate these kinds of things.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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