Tokyo’s cherry blossom season (called Hanami) is in full swing and crowds of residents and tourists flock to the Japanese capital’s parks today to admire their blossoming, which has been delayed this year due to a cooler start to spring. .

Many flower lovers make appointments in the center of the Japanese capital to admire the cherry blossoms and their pink and white flower petals floating above the moats surrounding the Imperial Palace.

With foreign tourists now outnumbering pre-pandemic numbers, many travelers are also enjoying the unique sight, like Kamila Kielbowska, a 25-year-old New Yorker who planned her trip around the cherry blossom schedule.

“The spectacle lived up to expectations, it was magical to me, wonderful” he said.

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For many Japanese, the blooming of the “sakura” simultaneously represents two things: a new beginning and the ephemeral nature of things.

“The cherry blossoms are completely symbolic, they symbolize all the joy and beauty that surrounds us,” said an emotional Mitsitaka Saito, 68, who told AFP he goes there every spring.

Flowering is profitable

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According to Katsuhiro Miyamoto, emeritus professor at Kansai University, this year’s cherry blossom season will bring in Japan, including tourists and the festivities traditionally held under the blossoming trees (“hanami”), ¥1.1 trillion (about 6.7 billion euros), compared to 616 billion yen in 2023.

While the weather service attributes the extremely late blooming of cherry blossoms now to this spring’s cooler temperatures in Japan, it also sounds the alarm about climate change, which on average is causing cherry blossoms to bloom earlier and earlier each year.