March: 桜前(Sakura Zensen)

This month’s word is Sakura Zensen.
Sakura Zensen (桜前線), or “Cherry Blossom Front,” are contour lines that show when certain areas of Japan will start to have their sakura bloom. Sakura Zensen is a coined word that was created by Japanese mass media and has been used since 1967. Someiyoshino, a kind of cherry blossom tree, is mainly considered for this special forecast. In general, the contour lines move forward from south to north and from low to high altitude. However, there are years when the Sakura Zensen‘s blooming times are not successive. For example, sometimes sakura will bloom in the Kanto area before they do in Kyushu, although Kanto is further north than Kyushu. In Japan, people are looking forward to hearing this year’s “Sakura no Kaika Yosou桜の開花予想“, a forecast of cherry blossom’s blooming dates and seeing the Sakura Zensen on the news.