Cherry blossoms are forecast to bloom earlier than usual in Japan, by a couple of days to a week, as recent spring-like warm temperatures are expected to continue across the country for some days to come.
Both the Japan Weather Association and private forecaster Weather Map forecast that the popular Somei-yoshino variety will start blooming on March 16 in central Tokyo.
The association expects the season to start on the same day in Fukuoka and Kochi cities; March 18 in Nagoya City; March 20 in Hiroshima City; March 22 in Osaka City; March 29 in Sendai City; and April 26 in Sapporo City.
Weather Map forecasts the season to begin on March 16 in Fukuoka City; March 18 in Hiroshima and Nagoya cities; March 19 in Kochi City; March 22 in Osaka City; March 25 in Sendai City; and April 23 in Sapporo City.
The Japan Weather Association says temperatures will remain warmer than usual for the time being. A high of around 20 degrees Celsius is forecast for areas from Kyushu to Tohoku in the coming days.