The cherry blossom season, Japan's traditional sign of spring, has peaked at the earliest date since records began 1,200 years ago, research shows. The 2021 season in the city of Kyoto peaked on 26 March, according to data collected by Osaka University. Increasingly early flowerings in recent decades are likely to be as a result of climate change, scientists say. The records from Kyoto go back to 812 AD in imperial court documents and diaries. The previous record there was set in 1409, when the season reached its peak on 27 March.