Japan has announced the official start of the Tokyo cherry blossom season ten days earlier than normal, a record only seen twice before.
In previous years, the country's meteorologists have associated the early blooms with climate change, and Tokyo's temperatures have been uncharacteristically mild in recent days.
Official records for Tokyo's cherry blossoms date back 70 years, and the delicate pink-white blossoms have only appeared as early as 2021 and 2020, according to the meteorological agency.
The blossoming of the cherry trees begins the "hanami", the Japanese tradition of admiring the new blossoms of the "sakura" (cherry trees) and celebrating the arrival of spring with picnics with family and friends.
The cherry blossoms are a very popular event throughout the country.
Japanese media compete to predict its exact timing across the archipelago and enthusiastically cover the news each year.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project