What is the man in this photo doing?
He is a Japan Meteorological Agency employee, checking the flower buds on one of the benchmark cherry trees of the Somei Yoshino kind. Across Japan, 59 of these trees are monitored by Agency to determine the beginning official sakura (cherry blossom) season. This particular tree is located at the (in)famous Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo.
Watch the crowd… They are leaning forward in expectation… And the verdict? We have bloom!
Not only did the tree start blooming. It started doing so five days earlier than an average year and two days earlier than last year! And all this on the first day of spring.
If this is not breaking news, I don’t know what is…