All About Japan

Hanami Starts in Tokyo with Index Tree

| Cherry Blossoms , Tokyo

Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine is home to many beautiful cherry blossom trees, one of which has a special designation: the index tree!

The Japan Meteorological Agency determines the state of Tokyo's sakura season by the flowers on this particular tree. When only five or six blossoms have opened, Tokyo’s cherry blossoms are considered “in bloom.” When 80 percent of the buds on the tree have opened, Tokyo is considered to be in “full bloom.” Weather was warm this year, and the JMA declared full bloom for 2019 seven days earlier than usual.