Japan has seen its earliest cherry blossom season in 1,200 years

Climate change could be the main reason for the early peak.

Effie Tan

In love with skies and spicy food.

Published: 6 April 2021, 1:46 PM

Cherry blossoms, which is highly revered in Japan, have bloomed earlier than usual in the country this year. 

The bloom of the popular white and pink flowers typically attracts hordes of tourists to the country, usually happens in mid-April, lasting for only several days. 

However, this year, cherry blossoms in the central city of Kyoto peaked on Mar 26, the earliest to happen in 1,200 years. 

In capital Tokyo, cherry blossoms peaked on Mar 22, the second-earliest date on record, reported CNN. 

The flowering and blooming of cherry blossoms depends on temperature. Spring in Japan came unusually fast and warm this year, which influenced the cherry blossoms peak date.


The early bloom of Cherry blossoms may impact tourism. PHOTO CREDIT: P. VIA UNSPLASH


Scientists said that such a symptom is likely caused by the impact of climate change as temperatures rise around the world. 

The early bloom of the Cherry Blossoms affects not just tourism in Japan – as tourists scramble to catch peak bloom before the petals fall – but also leave a threatening impact on living organisms due to the mismatch in life cycles. 

The flowers in Japan may not have enough pollinators if they bloom when the insects are inactive. On the other hand, the insects may not have food sources if the flowers don’t reproduce. 

“Ecosystems are not accustomed to these kinds of large fluctuations, it causes them a lot of stress,” Amos Tai, an associate professor of Earth System Science at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, told CNN. 

“Productivity may be reduced, and ecosystems may even collapse in the future.”

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