The 2016 Sakura Forecast by the Japan Weather Association Has Been Released!

  • NATIONWIDE
  • When Setsubun holiday on February 3rd has finished, it’s time for Spring in Japan! While the weather in February may still be cold, there are promises of spring everywhere. There is especially good news for those who are hoping to see Japan’s famously beautiful sakura blooming in 2016! The Japan Weather Association has released their Sakura Forecast for the entire country.

    The sakura front normally starts from the southernmost part of the country in late March and works its way up to Hokkaido by May. If you want to know the best time to catch the sakura blossoms for the city you are living in or traveling to, read on!

    The Forecast

    2016 is a leap year, and according to the JWA, the forecast may differ between leap years and regular years. Sometimes leap year blossoms come later in certain regions of Japan. For this spring, the predictions look to be mostly normal, so no emergency schedule changes will be needed.

    According to the Japan Weather Association’s predictions, The Chugoku, Kansai, Tokai, Hokuriku (Chubu) and Kanto regions will all have their leap year sakura blossoming as usual. The Tohoku region (northern Honshu) will actually have blooming sakura slightly earlier than a regular year. Finally, Hokkaido will also have a regular blooming season!

    When Exactly Will the Sakura Bloom?

    Kyushu

    It looks like the sakura will begin blooming on March 25th in Fukuoka. Nagasaki will get its first blooms slightly later, on the 27th and Kagoshima will see its first sakura on the 31st.

    Chugoku and Shikoku

    The front will continue up to the Chugoku region and the island of Shikoku. The first blooms in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture will bloom on March 28th while in Chugoku, Hiroshima’s sakura are set to appear just one day later on March 29th!

    Kansai

    Many people will be wondering when they can see the gorgeous sakura blooming in Kyoto’s most beautiful spots. The sakura are predicted to first bloom on March 29th in both Kyoto and Osaka.

    Chubu

    The sakura front in Chubu is different depending on whether the city you plan to visit is in the north or south. For example in Nagoya, the first sakura are set to start blooming on the 26th of March. In Shizuoka prefecture, they will start on the 29th. However in northern cities like Kanazawa (Ishikawa prefecture) and Niigata city in Niigata prefecture, the sakura will not bloom until April 4th and 7th respectively.

    Kanto

    In Kanto, the cherry blossoms will bloom around the same time as their southern Chubu counterparts and slightly earlier than in some parts of Kyushu. The sakura in Tokyo will begin to emerge on March 26th.

    Tohoku

    As the sakura front goes further north, the Tohoku region will start to see blooms in early April, with Sendai getting their first on the 9th. The front will continue up to Aomori where blossoms will appear later on in the month on April 22nd.

    Hokkaido

    Hokkaido is the last point of the sakura front for Japan! Locals and visitors can look forward to cherry blossoms blooming on May 2nd in Sapporo!

    Popular Cherry Blossom Viewing Areas

    As stated above, the general time for blossoms in Kanto, and specifically, Tokyo, comes around late March to early April. In the heart of Tokyo, the cherry blossoms are expected to bloom as usual on March 26th, which is just slightly later than last year’s start of March 23rd. If you are hoping to also venture into other parts of Kanto such as Yokohama in Kanagawa, the sakura will start to appear around the 28th.

    While the Kansai region normally gets its blooms a little earlier than Kanto, Kyoto city’s sakura will actually begin to bloom around March 29th. This means visitors should plan to see the famous blooms at Kiyomizu-dera around this time!

    If you were hoping to get a glorious view of the sakura surrounding Mt. Fuji, you can see them starting to appear on March 29th as well! Shizuoka prefecture and Yamanashi prefecture, which both share Mt. Fuji and its beautiful scenery, will have their blooms at that point.

    Recommended Spots Throughout the Country

    Kyushu

    Isshingyo Osakura in Kumamoto

    Nishi Park in Fukuoka

    Kumamoto Castle

    Shikoku

    Shodeyama in Kagawa

    Hirakiyama Park in Ehime

    Chugoku

    Senkoji Park in Hiroshima

    Tsuyama Castle in Okayama

    Kansai

    Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto

    Kyoto Cherry Blossom Tour Options

    Osaka Castle Park

    Chubu

    Izu Kogen Sakura Namiki in Shizuoka

    Nagoya Castle

    Takatojoshi Park in Nagano

    Kanto

    The Meguro River in Tokyo

    Ueno Park

    Tokyo Cherry Blossom Tour Options

    Mitsuike Park in Yokohama, Kanagawa

    Hachimanyama Park in Utsunomiya, Tochigi

    Tohoku

    Mihara Takizakura in Fukushima

    Hirosaki Park in Aomori

    Shiroishi River in Miyagi

    Hokkaido

    Goryokaku in Hakodate

    Shibazakura Takinoue in Monbetsu

    For more details about what types of sakura bloom and how to plan your trip, please feel free to check this article! You can find out all the information you need and suggestions for where to have the most fun during your cherry blossom viewing!

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