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Cherries bloomed at the earliest in 1,200 years

The famous Japanese cherry blossoms have bloomed earlier than ever this year. The Japanese have been observing them since the year 812, that is for 1209 years. The beginning of the flowering season in Kyoto is scheduled for March 26. Experts say climate change is the likely cause of this phenomenon.

For over 1,000 years, the blossoming cherry trees in Japan have been proclaiming the coming of spring with their colors and their fragrance. Currently, flowers are falling to the ground and experts say it’s a result of dramatic climate changes. Spring in Kyoto has come earlier this year than ever in the history of cherry blossom records. The floral symbol of Japan called sakura – once associated with April – began to bloom regularly in late March. Meteorologists predict that a warmer-than-usual February has accelerated flowering across the country.

Cherry blossom enthusiasts claim from records in old documents and diaries that this year’s flowering is the earliest in the history of Kyoto. Japan’s Meteorological Agency tracks 58 “exemplary” cherry trees nationwide. These plants are sensitive to temperature changes. The timing of their flowering can provide important data for climate change research.