As everyone knows all too well, Japan’s cherry blossom season is upon us! Starting in Fukuoka and moving north toward Kyoto, then most notably to Tokyo, the blossoms of Snow Monkey area in Nagano are now getting ready to bloom! Despite a few surprise dumps of snow at the beginning of April, the locals and monkeys are now enjoying the warm spring sun after long-lasted snowy season and watching the trees closely for those first beautiful buds which mean winter is truly over!
Situated in northern Nagano, the region surrounding the Snow Monkey Park is blessed with one of the longest cherry blossom seasons in Japan. Nagano’s mountainous terrain and higher altitude gives the region a unique climate pattern, and the long expanse of the prefecture is dotted with many cherry blossom-viewing sites.
If you are travelling in Japan from now and up to the end of April and would still like to see the cherry blossoms, Nagano is the most promising place for you to experience the Japanese spring at its best condition!
This article, written on April 6th 2019, and updated on April 20th, is intended to give you information about current cherry blossom conditions in Nagano (as of April 20th)
1) Current cherry blossom conditions in Snow Monkey area (as of 4/20)
・Around Nagano City, the cherry blossoms are in peak bloom! Nagano City has a lot of beautiful sakura sites such as the Zenko-ji temple grounds, and city parks. The blossoms are expected to be in full bloom for another 3 to 4 days!
・The Snow Monkey Park area is, due to its higher altitude, still in the first stage of bloom, but it’s only few days away until the blossoms reach their peak state!
・As written in the previous blog on April 6th, some types of cherry blossoms bloom considerably later than the typical cherry trees (called Somei Yoshino). They are not in blooming state yet however we can see that buds are getting pinker by the day. We expect that they will come in great condition around the end of April.
2) Cherry blossom tour to get to the best cherry blossom site in Nagano:
We continuously monitor the condition of cherry blossoms in Nagano. If you would like to be taken to the cherry blossom sites in the best condition, we conduct a tour “Snow Monkey & Cherry Blossom in Nagano,” starting from April 5th until April 25th 2019.
Here are pictures from the same tour last year – April 2018!
Further a full tour description and bookings, please access to our tour page: Snow Monkeys & Cherry Blossom Tour. We hope you will join us in Nagano to catch some of Japan’s most beautiful blossoms!
(The below information is about the blossom condition of April 6th 2019)
1) Current cherry blossom conditions in Snow Monkey area
・At some of the earliest blooming sites, located in the lower areas of altitude, the cherry trees are now about 30 to 50% of their full bloom and expected to be in full bloom in a few days time.
・Cherry trees within and around Nagano City are yet to be blooming and flower buds are still in the process of flowering. At some sites, flower buds are gradually coloring into pink and getting ready to show their face. We expect it would take some more time, possibly around 5 days+ until the first real bloom and the full bloom would be another 10+ days from today (April 6th).
・As for the Yudanaka/Shibu Onsen area, the flower buds still look tight and are half-covered by brown skin. The first blooming should be 10 days from now with full bloom expected to be around/after April 20th.
There are some sites where the type of the cherries are slow bloomers and start flowering considerably later than other sites, providing visitors a last-minute chance to see the cherry blossom. Those flower buds do not yet have signs of blooming as they usually come in the best condition at the end of April until the beginning of May.
Overall forecast of cherry blossom condition in Nagano:
According to the Meteorological Agency, the temperature of April 2019 in Japan is expected to be colder than usual. Given this report, we expect that the cherry blossom at its best condition would last until April 30th, with potential extra days into early May. However, this largely depends on the weather forecast as well as the specific type of cherry blossom.