13:58 19 March 2016
"Cherry blossom front" begins tour north through Japan archipelago
TOKYO, March 19, Kyodo
The annual "cherry blossom front" began its journey Saturday as this spring's first blooming of the "Somei Yoshino" variety was reported in parts of Japan, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.
Saturday's bloom in Fukuoka, in southwestern Japan, was four days earlier than usual and in Nagoya, central Japan, it was seven days early, the agency said, attributing the early efflorescence to the warm weather.
The weather agency and weather companies in Japan provide cherry blossom reports throughout the season, which usually begins in southern parts of Japan before proceeding northward.
The timing of the blooming is a source of interest for the tourism agency, not only because of cherry blossom-loving Japanese, but also as foreign tourists hope to travel to see the trees in full bloom.