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TOYAMA (Kyodo) Sunflowers began to bloom late last month in a 1,000-sq.-meter area of farmland in rural Toyama Prefecture amid relatively mild temperatures of around 10 degrees, stunning local residents with the out-of-season spectacle.

“It’s strange because the summer flowers are there while we can see trees bearing autumn persimmon and snow on Mount Tateyama,” said a 67-year-old local housewife with a camera in her hand. Junichi Doi, 59, said he removed sunflowers from the field and sowed buckwheat seeds in August.

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