Cherry blossom season has officially arrived in Hiroshima amidst uncertainty concerning the Covid-19 outbreak.
The Chugoku Shimbun reported on March 22 that 5 flowers have blossomed on the tree in Shukkeien Garden used to gauge the start of the season. This is 5 days earlier than on average, but pretty much the same as the past 2 years. Full bloom is expected in a week to 10 days.
Shukkeien Garden will remain closed until at least March 31 and the garden’s pretty yozakura illuminations will not take place this year due to concerns about the spread of Covid-19 virus. With the spring hanami season seemingly in full swing in Tokyo, where parks were busy over the past weekend, it remains to be seen whether locals in Hiroshima will resist the urge to gather for hanami parties at the city’s most popular spots.