Sakura
Photo: AJ/Unsplash

Cherry blossoms 2020 forecast: blooms expected earlier than usual in Tokyo and Japan

By
Kasey Furutani
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[Update, Mar 13] In the latest cherry blossom forecast, the sakura are still expected to bud on March 16 and reach full bloom on March 23. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 coronavirus Tokyo has cancelled two sakura festivals, but that won't stop flower-loving folks from getting their hanami on.

Photo: Japan Meteorological Corporation

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[Update, Feb 20] Seems like the cherry blossoms are blooming earlier every year. The Japan Meteorological Corporation has released yet another follow-up cherry blossom forecast and this time the sakura are expected to open on March 16 – two days earlier – and reach full bloom on March 23.

As for Kyoto, the sakura will bloom early on March 18 and reach its peak on March 28. In Osaka, however, the cherry trees will flower on March 22 and reach full bloom on March 30. The Japan Meteorological Corporation will continue to release forecasts throughout February and March.

Currently in Tokyo? Lucky you, winter cherry blossoms are now in full bloom. 

Photo: Japan Meteorological Corporation

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[Update, Jan 23] The Japan Meteorological Corporation has released their follow-up cherry blossom forecast, stating that Tokyo sakura will open one day earlier, on March 18, and will reach full bloom on March 26.

Photo: Japan Meteorological Corp.

The opening of the buds in Osaka, Kyoto and Sapporo have stayed the same, except Osaka is expected to reach full bloom one day later, on April 2. The Japan Meteorological Corporation will release their next forecast on February 6. 

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Ah, the cherry blossom season. These fragile, fleeting but oh-so-gorgeous pink sakura petals only make their appearance for one week out of the year. Recently, the weather has been a bit warmer than usual, which caused the delay of autumn foliage last year. This time though, the warmth might work in our favour as cherry blossoms are expected to open earlier than usual: on March 19 in Tokyo, and to reach full bloom on March 27.

Photo: Japan Meteorological Corp.

The sakura in ever-popular hanami (cherry blossom viewing) destinations such as Osaka and Kyoto are expected to open on March 23 and March 25 respectively, and will reach full bloom on April 1 in both cities. Sapporo is expected to open as late as May 1 and to reach full bloom on May 5.

However, don't book your flight just yet. The Japan Meteorological Corporation will release a follow-up report on January 23 and we'll keep you updated. With the recent unexpected weather, anything could happen. 

Plan your sakura sightseeing early with our favourite cherry blossom viewing spots in Tokyo and our guide to enjoying hanami.

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