Spring in Japan is without a doubt the most popular season for local travellers! Is it because of how fleeting the the cherry blossom blooming seasons are? Maybe.
Kaika is when the first blossoms open, and Mankai (full bloom) typically happens about one week after. Then, you have just about a week left to enjoy the pink foliage before it starts falling to the ground. If the season is particularly windy or rainy, you may have even less time.
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So do we leave it to luck?
You could, but you don’t have to. Each year, the researchers in Japan study the weather and come up with a forecast of the blooming dates. As with everything the Japanese do, it’s super accurate, and they forecast the blooming right down to the day!
(Okay… We can’t promise that the flowers will be in bloom when you visit, but if you follow this guide, you have about the best chance there is.)
Japan 2018 Cherry Blossom Blooming Guide
In general, the flowers bloom northwards, starting from the mildest climates to the harshest. So if you’re restricted by your travel dates, then it’s good to check which regions will have the blossoms in full bloom then. Most areas bloom in late March to April, but the northernmost cities in Hokkaido will only bloom in May.
Happy sakura chasing!
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