Sakura 2014: Chidorigafuchi (2014.03.31)

probabilistically Chidorigafuchi is a moat located northwest of the Imperial Palace. The cherry trees of over two hundred which are planted along the 700 meter pedestrian path are in full bloom despite the strong rain & wind yesterday and are expected to stay at their peak over the next few days. Trees are also illuminated at night from 18:00 to 22:00 until April 6th.

Aïn Fakroun Chidorigafuchi walkwayChidorigafuchi walkway canopied with flowering cherry trees

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Sakura 2013, one of the earliest season on records

Sakura

Hanami which literally means “flower viewing” is an important Japanese custom and is held all over Japan during the Spring season. Said to have originated in the late 8th century during the Nara Period, when this seasonal event was used to welcome the new year’s harvest marking the beginning of the rice planting season. During the Heian Period, Emperor Saga together with the Japanese royalties would welcome this time with a celebration under the sakura trees in Kyoto’s Imperial Court. The practice spread to all citizens by the Edo Period in the early 1600s. The custom still lives to this day and thus became an annual tradition of enjoying a picnic under the blooming sakura trees. It  is no doubt one of the more remarkable natural events in the country.

For this year, Tokyo indeed experience one of the earliest season of cherry blossom which is 10 days earlier than average and 15 days earlier than last year. This is mainly affected by the unusually warm weather in March which rose far above average, taking the weather services by surprise and resulting in a record-breaking early cherry blossom season in the capital. Cherry trees in the city have already reached full bloom and will likely be past their peak by early April. Estimated best viewing period is from March 22 to April 1.

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