Cherry Blossom Forecast for Spring 2013

Sakura in oita

Cherry blossoms in Oita ©zaimouk_woodpile/Flickr

In Japan, cherry blossoming is the most important event of spring. Millions of people gather in the nearby parks or Japanese gardens to observe this beautiful and amazing condition of nature. Cherry blossoms, or in Japan, Sakura, are ‘celebrated’ by picnicking under the cherry trees. This nice, nature-loving practice is called hanami.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency lets Japanese people know the Sakura Zensen, or the cherry blossom front every year; which means the movements of cherry tree blossoming front, from South to North on the archipelago, as  the warm weather arrives. This article presents the beginning of cherry blossoming in the biggest cities and the estimated best viewing of the cherry trees.

Beginning of Cherry Blossoming in 2013

Sakura in Rikugiyen Park

Sakura at Rikugien Park, Tokyo, 2013 ©slash__/Flickr

In Japan, cherry blossoming begins in March, so in many Southern regions and cities it had already begun. In Tokyo, Kyoto, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Takamatsu, Osaka, Nara, Nagoya and Yokohama the blossoming started between 15-22 March. In Yoshino and Kanazawa the cherry trees started to blossom on 29-30 March.

As moving Northward, in Matsumoto and Fukushima the first cherry blossoms appeared on 3-4 April. But in the Northerns regions of Japan, cherry blossoming still did not begin. In Sendai, it is expected to begin on April 9, in Takayama on April 13, in Hirosaki on April 24, and in Kakunodate on  25.

Cherry blossoms are still ‘available’ in May, in the cities of Hokkaido. In Hakodate, cherry blossoming is expected to begin on May 2, and in Sapporo on May 5.


Estimated Best Viewing

Sakura at Uneo park

Crowd at Ueno Park: Cherry Blossoming in Tokyo ©RachelH_/Flickr

The estimated best period for cherry blossom viewing usually lasts for 8-12 days. In the area of Tokyo, Kagoshima, Kumamoto, Fukuoka and Yokohama this period ended on March 30-31. In places such as Kyoto, Hiroshima, Takamatsu, Osaka, Nara and Nagoya the the best time for hanami is between 29 March – April 6-7-8.

Kanazawa will be a good place between 5-12 April, Yoshino between 5-14 April, Matsumoto between 8-15, Fukushima between 11-18, Sendai between 15-22, and Takayama between 18-25 April.

Those who plan to vitis Japan in May, can still catch cherry blossoming at some Northern points of Honshu and Hokkaido. In Kakunodate the estimated best viewing of cherry trees falls on the period of April 27- May 6, in Hirosaki between April 29 – May 7. The latest period of cherry blossoming is expected to be in Hakodate (6-13 May) and Sapporo (9-16 May).

The beautiful tradition of hanami is a very nice and charming nature-loving tradition. The long walks or the picnics under the cherry trees can be lifelong memories for everyone. I gladly suggest every tourist to visit at least one cherry blossoming spot.


Sakura in oita

Cherry blossoms in Oita ©zaimouk_woodpile/Flickr


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