Japan’s weather agency has a good indicator when spring season has already come – it’s when the cherry blossoms start to show. For two weeks after the blossoms come out, many of Japan’s parks, temples, schools and streets will be covered in pink and white as the blossoms form a picturesque canopy that draws tourists and residents alike.
Many forecasters stayed at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo to wait for the first blossoms to appear there. An official from the Japan Metereological Agency noted that the first blossoms appeared at the usual time. “Cherry blossom is a good gauge to let us know that spring is here,” said an official from the weather agency.
Cherry blossoms are an integral part of Japanese culture. The blossom, which is very delicate, lasts only for a week or so. The transient nature of the flower is treasured by the Japanese as a reminder of how fragile life is. As the first blossoms begin to appear in Tokyo, they will be in full bloom after a week’s time. Many anticipate the transition into full bloom of the blossoms as regular parks become huge picnic areas for families and friends. With some taking advantage of the shade it gives to have rowdy, oftentimes alcohol-accompanied parties that lasts for hours. While the western part of Japan has already began seeing the cherry blossoms bloom, the northern region won’t see their flowers until late May.
[via Japan Times]