• Kyodo News

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Cherry blossoms in Tokyo, Shizuoka and Kumamoto prefectures became the first in the nation to bloom this season after they were caught opening at designated observation areas across Japan, the Meteorological Agency announced Saturday.

Among the several varieties of “sakura” (cherry trees) in Japan, the “someiyoshino” in Tokyo and Shizuoka opened six days earlier than usual, while the trees in Kumamoto flowered two days earlier, said the agency, which reports annually on this closely watched barometer of spring.

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