26 Dec 2009

Japan to end blossom forecasts

10:04 am on 26 December 2009

The official weather agency in Japan is to stop giving forecasts for the start of the cherry-blossom season - one of the country's most enduring annual rituals.

For more than half a century, the agency has been trying to predict where and when the trees will bloom.

Towns and businesses plan parties for cherry-blossom season.

Forecasters have been made to apologise in the past for getting the dates wrong.

Avid flower-viewers will now have to consult private-sector services.

However, the BBC reports the agency will continue observing cherry trees throughout the nation to declare the official opening of the flower season.