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Monday, 28th March 2011
In Japan Travel News, Weather In Japan,

Tokyo heralds start of cherry blossom season

Cherry trees at Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine have started to bloom for the spring, according to the local meteorological observatory.

The someiyoshino trees are a major tourist attraction for their colourful pink blossom and this year's bloom is six days later than last year, the Associated Press reports.

However, the blossom arrived at roughly the same time as in previous years, the Japan Meteorological Agency added.

Tokyo's cherry trees are expected to be in full bloom in about a week's time, while the someiyoshino in Shizuoka, Fukuoka and Nagoya have all blossomed in the past week.

Writing for the Associated Press, Joji Sakurai called the blossom "a particularly poignant sight" in light of the March 11th earthquake and tsunami.

"Even in normal times, the flowers are a cause for rejoicing tinged with sadness, because they fall at the moment of their greatest beauty," he said.

In Japanese culture the cherry blossom is also the symbol of the ancient Samurai warriors, Mr Sakurai added.

Written by Susan Ballion

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