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It's spring, officially, in Japan

IT became official yesterday: cherry blossom season has begun in Tokyo.

The annual declaration by the Japan Meteorological Agency heralds the arrival of spring. The flowers, known as "sakura," are a symbol of Japan's culture.

This year, the blossoming was spotted in early January on the southernmost island of Okinawa and has been gradually traveling northward.

Yesterday's announcement for Tokyo came about seven days earlier than the average, though just one day earlier than last year, the agency said.

Japanese culture prizes signs of the changing seasons, but the fluffy pale pink blossoms hold a special place in many people's hearts as a symbol of a beginning.


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