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Fleeting moment of cherry trees must dazzle even their guardians

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The cherry blossom season was declared officially under way on Jan. 7, when Taiwan cherry trees flowered in Minamidaitojima island, Okinawa Prefecture. Four months since then, the cherry blossom front has moved steadily northward and already passed southern and central Hokkaido. It has also crossed the Hidaka Mountain range in Hokkaido’s southern central region, and is now reaching eastern parts of the nation’s northernmost main island.

In areas around Kushiro, the largest city in eastern Hokkaido, there are few “somei-yoshino” cherry trees, by far the most common and beloved variety in the main island of Honshu.

In Hokkaido, the leading and prevailing variety of cherry trees is "ezoyamazakura," or Sargent’s cherry (North Japanese hill cherry). This type of cherry tree endures the bitter winter in Hokkaido and........

© The Asahi Shimbun