Predicting the Bloom

Many visitors to Japan want to time their holiday to coincide with the blossoms. Witnessing the blossoms in full bloom is truly a stunning sight and one that many people understandably want to see. Planning a holiday around the blossoms is however tricky, particularly when booking flights, accommodation and trains more than three months in advance of the bloom.

As the weather warms each year the bloom will typically start in March and gradually move northward to finish sometime in May. With that, visitors can expect the bloom to start in Kyushu and move north to Shikoku, Kobe and Hiroshima, before the trees in Osaka and Kyoto come to bloom.

SAKURA, cherry blossoms

From there, Tokyo blooms with Nagano not long after – usually in the first or second week of April. After that time the bloom moves steadily north toward Aomori and finally onto Hokkaido.

Predicting the exact date of bloom in each region is big business, with Japanese and international visitors keenly awaiting the official blossom forecast. Released each year in January, the sakura forecast is your best resource when planning your trip. By that time, the forecast is likely to be accurate enough to start planning with confidence while noting, that there will be later adjustments to it as winter winds down and spring takes over.

While it might be frustrating and inconvenient to wait, your best option is to allow flexibility in your travel plans and consider using a Japan Rail Pass while here. With that, you’ll have flexibility to move quickly to and from the major cities and should you wish to, cover long distances in quick time to get yourself to the best location for the blossoms.

Hopefully with some luck you’re timing will be just right. But remember, Japanese love the blossoms as much as you! They are happy to travel to see them with accommodation near popular sights likely to book out on weekends and public holidays.


Want to enjoy the blossoms on our group tour or a  private tour or charter? Feel free to contact us and let’s get planning together!