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Cherry blossoms Kyoto, Japan have bloomed their earliest date 600 years. Researchers from Osaka University say blossoms the city of Kyoto peaked on the 26th of March. The previous record Kyoto was set in 1409, when the season reached its peak the 27th of March. Data on cherry blossoms blooming in Kyoto go back 1,200 years. As far back as the year 812, officials at Japan's imperial court Kyoto wrote details the blooms in documents and diaries. Japan experienced much warmer weather the first few months of this year. Meteorologists say this is because of climate change. They say many plants are flowering and blossoming earlier than normal because global warming.

Cherry blossoms are an important part Japanese culture. People keep a close eye the news of blossoming times from forecasts made the Japanese Meteorological Agency. The blossoms are called "sakura" Japan. Many people plan trips to famous cherry blossom areas and spend hours having picnics the sakura. The cherry blossoms also provide Japan an important economic boost each spring. People come from all the world to view them. Japan's Mainichi newspaper explained the importance sakura. It wrote: "Sakura has deeply influenced Japanese culture centuries. It has regularly been used poetry and literature. Their fragility is seen as a symbol of life, death and rebirth."

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