Full bloom at Osaka Castle Park
Japan's meteorological observatories choose one tree in each region to monitor for the arrival of cherry blossom season. Staff visit those trees daily to check the buds. When five or six buds begin to burst, they declare the start of the season in that the region. When 80% of the buds are open, they announce that the trees are in full bloom. In Osaka, the season came earlier than usual in 2022, with officials declaring full bloom five days ahead of the seasonal average thanks to the warmer-than-usual weather conditions. This was the view from the Osaka Castle Park, one of the city's most popular viewing spots.