Japan’s sakura to bloom earlier than predicted this year

How to ensure you won’t miss the cherry blossoms in Japan this year. Source: Shutterstock.

LAST YEAR, Japan’s sakura (cherry blossom) made an unexpected appearance which took throngs of locals and travelers alike by surprise.

The pink phenomenon, which usually takes place in spring, arrived across the country in autumn as a result of unusual weather, including a particularly active typhoon season (July to October).

And according to the Japan Meteorological Corporation, the sakura is also expected to bloom earlier than predicted this year.

The pink phenomenon is the result of dozens of different cherry blossom varieties blooming together. Rows upon rows of cherry trees are awash with perfect blooms, creating a soft and romantic atmosphere for lovers and friends.

It is one of the biggest annual celebrations in Japan.

The Japan Meteorological Corporation’s recent forecast suggests that the buds are expected to start blooming in Tokyo on March 22, 2019, and full bloom will most likely be on March 29, 2019.

It added that the blossoming in Kochi on March 25, 2019, is likely to be followed by early flowering in Fukuoka, where blossoms are due to emerge on March 20, 2019.

A forecast map released by Japan Meteorological Corporation. Source: Japan Meteorological Corporation.

Meanwhile, observers can expect to celebrate the annual sakura arrival on March 22, 2019, in Nagoya; March 25, 2019, in Kyoto; and March 27, 2019, in Osaka.

The last weekend of March will offer the most enjoyable views in Tokyo, Kyushu, and the Tokai region while the first weekend of April will be perfect for hanami in the Kinki region, parts of Shikoku, and other places in the Kanto region.

In Sendai and other parts of Miyagi Prefecture, cherry blossoms are expected to be seen on April 9, 2019.

As for the Aomori Prefecture and Hokkaido, the first buds are due to appear on April 24, 2019, and on May 4, 2019, respectively.

The forecasts cover about 1,000 locations across the country based on data derived from studying the blooming characteristics of the Somei-Yoshino tree — the most common type of sakura tree, known for its pale pink flowers.

The early blooms are due to relatively warm temperatures throughout the country over the months since October, which has delayed the trees’ dormancy period, allowing sakura buds to survive the winter.