THE seasons of spring in Japan is one of the most highly anticipated seasons, attracting throngs of local and foreign visitors for one of the country’s biggest annual celebrations: the viewing of the delicate cherry blossoms.
The cherry blossom forecast, usually announced every year by the country’s weather bureau, is important because the blossoms only last a week or two.
But it seems the floral wonder has decided to surprise fans ahead of spring.
Japan’s cherry blossoms are also blooming in autumn this year, according to a Japanese weather forecasting company.
The rare blooms could be the results of this year’s unusual weather, including a particularly active typhoon season (July to October).
The Flower Association of Japan tree doctor Hiroyuki Wada said a series of unusually warm days after typhoons could have confused the plants into flowering.
“This has happened in the past, but I don’t remember seeing something of this scale,” he told public broadcaster NHK.
More than 300 people across Japan had reported cherry blossoms were blooming in their neighborhood, according to a survey conducted by meteorological firm Weathernews.
Local media spotted clusters of the famous pink and white blooms at several popular cherry blossom spots as well.
However, Wada said the unexpected appearance of cherry blossoms should not affect the cherry blossom season next year.
“The buds that opened now won’t blossom in the coming spring. But only a small number of them are being observed. I don’t think it will affect cherry blossom viewing (next year),” he told NHK.
The pink phenomenon is the result of dozens of different cherry blossom varieties blooming together.
Rows upon rows of cherry trees are awash with perfect blooms, creating a soft and romantic atmosphere for lovers and friends.
In Japanese culture, this is when hanami (enjoying the transient beauty of flowers) is practiced, through outdoor picnics or parties beneath the cherry trees during daytime or at night.