Culture

Here’s Your Official 2018 Cherry Blossom Forecast

The sakura flower, or cherry blossom as it’s more commonly known, is the unofficial flower of Japan, famed for its irrefutable beauty. It’s a bit of an obsession, really, with millions of visitors flocking each year just to catch a glimpse of the iconic trees in bloom.

They are, however, are a tad unpredictable, so if you want to plan your cherry blossom trip perfectly, you’ve gotta be pretty precise. To make it a little easier, the Japan Meteorological Corporation (JMC) has released the first of its 2018 cherry blossom forecasts.

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The forecasts attempt to predict when the cherry blossoms will reach full bloom at around 1000 different spots across Japan. The forecast is updated throughout the year, but the most recent prediction tells us the blooms are expected to begin on March 20 in Tokyo, with full bloom expected on March 28.

Japan’s northernmost prefecture, Hokkaido, is expected to see flowers around May 3 and hit full bloom on May 6, while the major cities on Japan’s main island, Honshu, are expected a little earlier. Kyoto will see blooms around March 27 and reach full bloom on April 4, while Osaka will come a day earlier on March 26, peaking on April 3.

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Hanami, the tradition of admiring the beauty of the cherry blossoms, is a significant cultural event for locals, who usually take part by having picnics under the blooming trees. But the more, the merrier, they say, with tourists more than welcome to join in the fun.

For all of the details and to keep up to date, visit the forecast.

(Lead image: Gabriel Garcia Marengo)