Start of cherry blossom season declared in Tokyo
NHK -- Mar 15
Japan's Meteorological Agency has declared the start of cherry blossom season in Tokyo.

Agency officials confirmed on Saturday afternoon that at least five blossoms had opened on the benchmark tree of the Somei-yoshino variety at Yasukuni Shrine in central Tokyo.

The declaration came 12 days earlier than average. It was the earliest since statistics began to be kept in 1953.

But temperatures plunged in Tokyo on Saturday, in contrast to the warm weather until the previous day. A low pressure system and a cold front brought intermittent sleet, with the temperature as of 2 p.m. at 2.5 degrees Celsius.

A commercial weather-information firm says cherry trees will likely start blooming earlier than usual in many parts of western and eastern Japan through next week.

東京のサクラが全国トップで開花となりました。  気象庁は14日午後2時ごろ、靖国神社にあるソメイヨシノの標本木が数輪咲いているとして、冷たい雨が降るなか、東京のサクラの開花を発表しました。去年より7日早く、平年より12日早いサクラシーズンの到来です。統計が残る1953年以降、最も早い開花となり、東京が全国トップで咲くのは3年ぶりです。この週末は寒の戻りがありますが、来週後半は再び暖かくなって1週間から10日ほどで見頃を迎えそうです。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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