The Japanese cherry blossom forecast

Sakura trees at Ueno, Japan, courtesy of Ed Nueva

The cherry blossom (or sakura), is a species of flower mostly found in East Asia. However, it is mostly associated with Japanese culture and is considered the national flower.

Today marked the first cherry blossom forecast of the year, conducted by the Japan Meteorological Corporation. They base their forecasts and maps on specific “index trees”, usually the most common in particular regions. For example, Tokyo’s index tree can be found in Yasukuni Shrine.

About 1,000 Yoshino cherry trees nationwide from Hokkaido to Kagoshima are forecasted to bloom and be in full bloom this year. The forecast dates for flowering and full bloom at all locations, as well as flowering meters that show the growth process of cherry blossoms, are posted on the general weather site “Otenki Navigator.” The next announcement is scheduled for 1/26.


According to reports, Tokyo is expected to see the earliest blooms nationwide, on March 22nd, followed by Fukuoka on the 23rd, Nagoya on the 25th, and Osaka on the 28th (source). The earlier blooms are likely due to climate change which has effected blooming dates for years.

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