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  • 執筆者の写真Aki Acton

Sakura weekend in Chiba


The Sakura blossoms in Chiba this year have been as breathtaking as in years past. The cherry blossom, known as "sakura" in Japanese, is revered as a national emblem alongside the chrysanthemum, or "kiku."  Although not officially designated by law, both the sakura and kiku are deeply cherished as cultural symbols in Japan.

A friend in Coventry, UK, has expressed interest in learning about the sakura blooming progression in this season, prompting me to share this delightful update from Chiba. The name Chiba, translating to "a thousand leaves," finds a special resonance in the sakura narrative, enriching its local significance.


Typically, Sakura begins to flower in early spring, but this year's bloom was slightly delayed, commencing during the first two weeks of April. A splendid display of sakura can be witnessed at Sakura Hiroba, or Sakura Square, in Makuhari, Chiba, coinciding with the first day of the new school term for students.

At Sakura Hiroba, 500 sakura trees flourish simultaneously. Scientifically, this is because they are of the same variety; each Someiyoshino tree, shares identical DNA, cloned from a single ancestor, ensures a unified peak bloom. This uniform flowering is a trait particularly admired by the Japanese, especially in the Someiyoshino variety, for its simultaneous peak bloom and subsequent petal fall.

The anticipation for the satisfying moment to engage in Hanami, the traditional outing for cherry blossom viewing, often brings a sense of excitement and impatience. In this year, the blossoms are expected to reach full bloom in the second weekend of April, thanks to an unusually May-like warm climate. And, an impending weather forecast predicts strong rain and winds by the following Tuesday, likely causing the delicate blossoms to fall.


Some of the people endeavored to adjust their schedules to promptly decide on a gathering before Tuesday. Fortunately, the majority of the flowers endured the harsh weather conditions of Tuesday, allowing us to enjoy the splendor of this annual event hopefully until the upcoming weekend. 【AA】






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