All About Japan

2021 Cherry Blossom Forecast Is Finally Here

| Cherry Blossoms , Life in Japan

Despite the distinct chill in the air, and masses of snow covering some of Japan’s coldest areas, spring is actually just around the corner, and that means it’s time to start making plans for the sakura cherry blossom season.

Helping out in that regard is Japanese weather forecasting company Weathernews, who just released its first cherry blossom forecast for 2021. And according to their predictions, it’s going to be another warm start to the season, meaning the sakura will be unfurling its petals earlier than usual in Tokyo this year.

This image released by Weathernews shows the predicted starting date for the blossoming of the nation’s somei yoshino trees, Japan’s most popular sakura variety, in capital cities famous for their blooms. Dates for surrounding areas are listed according to color in the box on the left

The capital cities and predicted start dates above are:

Kagoshima: 23 March
Fukuoka: 20 March
Kochi: 20 March
Hiroshima: 23 March
Osaka: 24 March
Nagoya: 21 March
Kanazawa: 29 March
Tokyo: 18 March
Nagano: 5 April
Niigata: 2 April
Sendai: 1 April
Akita: 14 April
Aomori: 17 April
Sapporo: 23 April
Kushiro: 9 May

Once the sakura start blooming, it’s often a mad dash to see them before they disappear, as the delicate flowers only blossom for a week or so. For those heading out to some of the country’s most famous hanami flower-viewing spots, the stating dates may differ slightly, depending on their proximity to the capital, so these dates will be helpful:

The sites listed above are:

Kumamoto Castle (Kumamoto Prefecture): 22 March
Maizaru Park (Fukuoka Prefecture): 20 March
Peace Memorial Park (Hiroshima Prefecture): 24 March
Kochi Park (Kochi Prefecture): 20 March
Arashiyama (Kyoto Prefecture): 1 April
Tsuruma Park (Aichi Prefecture): 22 March
Sunpu Castle Park (Shizuoka Prefecture): 23 March
Takato Joshi Park (Nagano Prefecture: 1 April
Ueno Onshi Park (Tokyo Prefecture): 19 March
Shiraishi Riverbank Thousand Trees at a Glance (Miyagi Prefecture): 2 April
Hirosaki Park (Aomori Prefecture): 18 April
Goryokaku Park (Hokkaido Prefecture): 22 April

Most of these predicted start dates are similar, or slightly earlier to last year’s initial forecast, which predicted the blossoming period in Tokyo, for example, to kick off on 19 March, a week earlier than average. The blossoms actually appeared slightly earlier than that, though, on 14 March, so we’ll have to wait and see how this year’s initial predictions fare as the season progresses.

Related stories:

Cherry blossom forecast 2020 released! Sakura season shifts to new start time in Tokyo this year
Sakura 2017: Japan Meteorological Corporation releases first national cherry blossom forecast
Japanese weather site reveals the secret to knowing when a sakura cherry blossom will fall
Cherry blossom forecast 2018: Sakura expected to come to Tokyo earlier than usual this year!