Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Forecast for Japan 2018

Cherry blossom (sakura) forecast for 2018 was released by Weather map, a Japanese weather forecast company. Tokyo Direct Guide follows it every year to welcome Japan’s most beautiful season with you!

Sakura Forecast Released on 25 January

(This forecast has been updated. For the latest forecast, please go down.)

Tokyo: Start to open on 27 March / Reach to peak on 3 April

Osaka: 28 March / 3 April

Kyoto: 29 March / 5 April

Nara: 31 March / 6 April

Nagoya: 27 March / 3 April

Hiroshima: 28 March / 4 April

Fukuoka: 24 March /31 March

Sapporo: 1 May/ 5 May

What do you think? From my point of view, it is a little later than the past few years. (See Cherry Blossom Forecast 2017?) It snowed a lot in Tokyo a few days ago. I’m shivering while typing this and I see some shiny snow in streets. But according to the forecaster, this cold weather let cherry blossoms know it’s winter now and that they must prepare for spring. So I can stand!

I will update THIS article whenever the latest information is released. If you hope to follow the forecast, please bookmark this article and follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I do NOT delete old forecasts so that you can see how it changed over the days.

Top Places for Sakura Viewing in Tokyo

The following articles are the top places in Tokyo. Every article contains practical guides as well as beautiful photos, so you can plan your sakura viewing trip perfectly!

Skytree and fully blooming cherry blossoms (sakura) in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan.
Asakusa Sumida River Cherry Blossom Festival & Tokyo Skutree

I’ve written some travel advice, too.

If you want to know how Cherry Blossom Forecast & Report was going in the past years, have a look at these articles.

Are you excited? Stay tuned to Tokyo-Direct-Guide.com!




 

Sakura Forecast (Updated on 8 February)

Tokyo: Start to open on 27 March / Reach to peak on 3 April

Osaka: 28 March / 4 April

Kyoto: 29 March / 5 April

Nara: 30 March / 6 April

Nagoya: 27 March / 3 April

Hiroshima: 28 March / 4 April

Fukuoka: 23 March /30 March

Sapporo: 1 May/ 5 May

So the changes are not very big. The sakura season became a little earlier in West Japan than the old forecast, and that’s all.

This winter is quite tough in Japan. Weather forecasters say we have that heavy snow only once in 60 years. My skin had some troubles for the first time in my life because of the cold weather, but Tokyo was better than some other cities. More than 1 meter of snow covered the ground in Hokuriku area (northeast from Osaka and Kyoto, etc), so cars couldn’t move at all surrounded by the deep snow.

I’m waiting for warm spring days. Hope it becomes warm in March and cherry blossoms rush to bloom!

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Sakura Forecast (Updated on 22 February)

Tokyo: Start to open on 26 March / Reach to peak on 2 April

Osaka: 26 March / 2 April

Kyoto: 27 March / 4 April

Nara: 29 March / 4 April

Nagoya: 24 March / 1 April

Hiroshima: 27 March / 3 April

Fukuoka: 21 March /28 March

Sapporo: 1 May/ 5 May

Hey, cherry blossoms, why did you hurry up? The sakura season became earlier than the old forecast especially in West Japan! Now it won’t be so different from last year.

Somehow it SNOWS whenever there is an update for Cherry Blossom Forecast this year, so I must wear the warmest coat I have to go out today. But Weather Map forecasts it will be VERY warm in early March. That’s why cherry blossoms will hurry up.

I… really look forward to the time cherry blossoms flourish. This winter is so tough even for a local like me. In case you are staying in Tokyo now, keep warm to have a wonderful holiday.

This forecast will be updated again and again. Stay tuned!

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Sakura Forecast (Updated on 1 March)

Tokyo: Start to open on 22 March / Reach to peak on 29 March

Osaka: 22 March / 29 April

Kyoto: 23 March / 30 March

Nara: 24 March / 30 March

Nagoya: 21 March / 28 March

Hiroshima: 23 March / 30 March

Fukuoka: 19 March /25 March

Sapporo: 30 April/ 4 May

Honestly, I’m astonished. The sakura season became one week EARLIER than the old forecast! The peak will come in March! Apparently it is earlier than average years.

In the last update, I said it always snows when there is an update. This story has ended. It’s TOO WARM TODAY – it was more than 20 degrees like spring days! According to the forecasters, this warm weather will continue to late March and it makes cherry blossoms to bloom that early.

You probably get worried that you’ll be too late in April, don’t you?

The peak of standard cherry blossoms lasts 7 – 10 days, so I don’t think you’ll be too late in the first week in April. Got relieved?

March in Tokyo

If traveling in Tokyo in March, you want to learn things to see. I listed them up here. It’s a beautiful season as well as spring.

Plum Blossoms in Hamarikyu Garden, Tokyo

Hope you enjoy beautiful early spring in Tokyo with Tokyo Direct Guide!

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Sakura Forecast (Updated on 5 March)

Tokyo: Start to open on 22 March / Reach to peak on 28 March

Osaka: 22 March / 29 March

Kyoto: 23 March / 30 March

Nara: 23 March / 30 March

Nagoya: 21 March / 28 March

Hiroshima: 23 March / 30 March

Fukuoka: 19 March /25 March

Sapporo: 30 April / 4 May

The weather forecasters at Weather Map say that the sakura season will be VERY EARLY especially in West Japan.

I agree with them. It’s SUPER EARLY! Cherry blossoms will reach to peak in March in every city except Hokkaido!

If you’ve been following this Cherry Blossom Forecast, you know I’ve updated it in an extreme weather every time – I don’t know why! Today, it’s somehow STORMY outside!! It’s also warm to the point that I’m not sure what to wear, and this is why cherry blossoms are in such a hurry.

I newly updated 3 events in March on Tokyo-Direct-Guide.com – the main site of this blog – for travelers. I think all the huge weeping cherry tree, Japanese garden in Tokyo National Museum and Walking On Fire Festival are very interesting and attractive, so I advise you to learn them all for your trip.

Hope you have a wonderful trip in Tokyo in March!

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Sakura Forecast (Updated on 8 March)

Tokyo: Start to open on 20 March / Reach to peak on 27 March

Osaka: 22 March / 28 March

Kyoto: 22 March / 29 March

Nara: 22 March / 28 March

Nagoya: 21 March / 28 March

Hiroshima: 23 March / 29 March

Fukuoka: 19 March /24 March

Sapporo: 30 April/ 4 May

brrrrrrr…

Hi, travelers… As you follow this cherry blossom forecast on Tokyo Direct Guide, you know the weather is extreme somehow whenever there is an update. I said it was incredibly warm in the last update. This time, I was shivering while waiting for Weather Map refreshed… The temperature was only 5 degrees out there. In March! It was really like winter.

It seems the forecasters at Weather Map had trouble with this unexpected freezing weather. However, they didn’t change their opinion that the cherry blossom season would be early this year. 

On the coming Sunday (11 March), annual Walking On Fire Festival is being held in Mt. Takao, which is one of the best day trip destination from the City. If you are traveling in Tokyo now, I think it’s a must-see!

Hopefully I’ll upload some spring photos in the next update. Stay tuned!

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Sakura Forecast (Updated on 12 March)

Tokyo: Start to open on 20 March / Reach to peak on 27 March

Osaka: 22 March / 28 March

Kyoto: 22 March / 28 March

Nara: 21 March / 27 March

Nagoya: 20 March / 27 March

Hiroshima: 22 March / 28 March

Fukuoka: 18 March /24 March

Sapporo: 30 April/ 4 May

The forecast didn’t change so much this time.

By the way, you want to see how cherry trees are going now, don’t you? I took some pics for you last weekend!

Standard Cherry Trees in Yoyogi Park, Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan (10 March)
Standard Cherry Trees in Yoyogi Park, Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan (10 March)

So they are still buds on the standard kinds of cherry trees. But if you’ve been following Tokyo Direct Guide, you know there are early-blooming cherry blossoms!

Kawazu Sakura trees on 10 March
Early Cherry Blossoms in Yoyogi Park on 10 March

Yay, they are blooming fully now! Travelers looked so happy to see them!

Early Kinds of Cherry Blossoms blooming fully on 10 March
Early Kinds of Cherry Blossoms blooming fully on 10 March

Many of early cherry blossoms have vivid colors. Beautiful, aren’t they?

You have chances to see them in parks, gardens and even some streets. I once reported Mukojima Hyakkaen Garden, which has the view of Tokyo Skytree. If you go to a large park such as Shinjuku Gyoen Garden, you’ll surely find them.

Hope you like my photos. Are you ready for the cherry blossom season? Lists and event information are on the top page of Tokyo Direct Guide now!

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Sakura Forecast (Updated on 15 March)

Tokyo: Start to open on 18 March / Reach to peak on 25 March

Osaka: 23 March / 30 March

Kyoto: 23 March / 30 March

Nara: 23 March / 29 March

Nagoya: 21 March / 28 March

Hiroshima: 24 March / 31 March

Fukuoka: 19 March /26 March

Sapporo: 30 April/ 4 May

The problem is Tokyo. Cherry blossoms will reach to peak on 25 March?! From my point of view, it’s TOO EARLY!!! I don’t remember such a year.  Moreover, they start to bloom on 18 March – it’s the next Sunday?!?! You know they were all buds last weekend, right?!

Honestly, I got worried about travelers coming to Tokyo in April. But it seems the peak is just a little early in other cities – 30 March can be considered to be average. The peak of cherry blossoms lasts for 7 – 10 days. So I believe you still have chances in some places.

Honestly, I haven’t got ready for sakura viewing. I must plan some hanami picnic immediately to share with you!

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News Flash (17 March)

Weather map announced that cherry blossoms started to open in Tokyo today! It is 9 days earlier than average years. (Not yet in other cities.)

I know many of you are so worried that you’ll be too late in April. But you don’t need to be worried about this update. Do you know how the forecasters define “start to open”? It’s when they find 5 blossoms opened in Yasukuni Shrine. All right? 5 blossoms. There are uncountable cherry blossoms in Tokyo and it’s nothing for us that 5 of them opened. If you saw the views today, you’d feel almost all were still buds.

If I have good news, it’ll be cold next week (weather forecast), which will slow down cherry buds to open.

I? I see early kinds of cherry blossoms in streets nearby, but I haven’t standard kinds at all. I’m so worried about those who are coming to Tokyo, and I can’t predict what will happen next. But I feel it’s too early to despair today. Let’s wait and see.

Sakura Forecast (Updated on 19 March)

Tokyo: Started to open on 17 March / Reach to peak on 25 March

Osaka: Start to open on 23 March / 30 March

Kyoto: 23 March / 30 March

Nara: 23 March / 29 March

Nagoya: Started to open on 19 March / 27 March

Hiroshima: 25 March / 1 April

Fukuoka: Started to open on 19 March /27 March

Sapporo: 30 April/ 4 May

According to the weather forecast, it’ll be cold in Tokyo this week – won’t it slow down cherry blossoms? I really expect some cold days because I know some of you are shocked to read this forecast!

In case you find you are too late in Tokyo, it is a good idea to plan a day trip. Also, you have chances to see late kinds of cherry blossoms, which are the specialty of Shinjuku Gyoen Garden.

Nobody can tell what will happen next about cherry blossoms. I’m as worried as you are, but I can’t do anything. Just waiting for updates in this week.

P.S. Don’t forget other cities in Japan.

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Sakura Forecast (Updated on 22 March)

Tokyo: Started to open on 17 March / Reach to peak on 24 March

Osaka: Started to open on 20 March / 28 March

Kyoto: Started to open on 22 March / 29 March

Nara: 23 March / 29 March

Nagoya: Started to open on 19 March / 28 March

Hiroshima: 25 March / 1 April

Fukuoka: Started to open on 19 March /28 March

Sapporo: 29 April/ 3 May

Let me say this first; it was SNOWY YESTERDAY! I wore a winter coat and boots in March. I hear that 27 cm snow covered the ground in Hakone. It’s March, right? Incredible!

This morning, I saw some cherry blossoms in a local street for the first time in this year. (Sorry for no photo. It was a very local park, so I couldn’t shoot the tree without damaging someone’s privacy.) But from my point of view, the trees were almost naked. Are they blooming fully in 2 days? Will the forecast be true? Honestly, I can’t believe so. Some Tokyo locals whisper that it’s like a conspiracy to attract people on the weekend to make them go out and spend money! But sometimes blossoms really rush to open, so it isn’t impossible?? Mmmm… I’m not sure.

<Bookmark this article & follow me on Facebook and Twitter, and you’ll be informed when there is an update on Cherry Blossom Forecast!>

News Flash! (24 March)

The forecasters announced that Cherry Blossoms reached the Peak in Tokyo today! It is 10 days earlier than average years.

Their definition of “blooming fully” is kind of vague – they announce so when they see 80% buds of the cherry tree in Yasukuni Shrine open. From my eyes, 30 – 70% (depending on each tree) buds did.

It’ll be very warm next week, so the peak will really come. Hopefully, I’ll go to Imperial Palace (Chidorigafuchi) for sakura viewing! I’ll upload beautiful photos here and a new article, so stay tuned!!

Sakura Forecast (Updated on 26 March)

Tokyo: Started to open on 17 March / Reached to peak on 24 March

Osaka: Started to open on 20 March / Reached peak on 26 March

Kyoto: Started to open on 22 March / 29 March

Nara: Started to open on 24 March / 29 March

Nagoya: Started to open on 19 March / 26 March

Hiroshima: Started to open on 22 March / 28 March

Fukuoka: Started to open on 19 March /28 March

Sapporo: 29 April/ 3 May

Today I’d like to share how cherry blossoms are like in Tokyo! It is Shinjuku Gyoen Garden, which is famous for late kinds of cherry blossoms.

Yes, they were so beautiful!!!

From my point of view, standard cherry blossoms (somei yoshino) still have buds.

Early kinds of cherry blossoms, which have vivid colors, were completely fully blooming. So I’m focusing on them.

Also, weeping cherry blossoms were definitely at the peak!

They open a little earlier than standard kinds. But the blossoms look almost same, so WE LOVE THEM!!!

Photos can’t tell everything. Pale pink blossoms, green grass and the blue sky… It was like heaven.

I told you that a part of Shinjuku district is a mess, but Shinjuku Gyoen Garden has nothing to do with it. Birds are tweeting all the time and people aren’t using Twitter because they are so happy and sleepy.

So there are still buds in standard cherry trees, but I have news that will be horrifying to some of you. It will be like a summer day next Wednesday, so cherry blossoms will rush to bloom. 2018 is an exceptional year for sakura viewing, so I hear travelers coming in April are shocked. Hopefully I report the latest information as today, so keep checking.

Helpful Links for Cherry Blossom Viewing in Tokyo!
Tokyo Direct Guide

Sakura Forecast (Updated on 29 March)

Tokyo: Started to open on 17 March / Reached to peak on 24 March

Osaka: Started to open on 20 March / Reached peak on 26 March

Kyoto: Started to open on 22 March / Reached peak on 28 March

Nara: Started to open on 24 March / Reached peak on 29 March

Nagoya: Started to open on 19 March / Reach peak on 27 March

Hiroshima: Started to open on 22 March / Reached peak on 28 March

Fukuoka: Started to open on 19 March /Reach peak on 27 March

Sendai: Started to open on 30 March / 5 April

(Sendai is the central city of Northeast Japan,  which you can visit by Shinkansen the super express from Tokyo. I’ve written a travel guide of Sendai on the article about its famous Star Festival in summer.)

Sapporo: 29 April/ 3 May

Important updates are coming soon. Please wait a moment.

Updated on 1 April

Report of Cherry Blossoms in Chidorigafuchi (Imperial Palace)

I’m uploading pics of how it was like on 30 March!

I saw many travelers impressed by cherry blossoms when they just went out of Kudanshita Station. I was, too, but I cried inside my heart because the peak was leaving little by little from my eyes…

See it? Although the views shows us the peak of sakura season, some blossoms have lost their petals.

 

And what do you think the white things in the pond are?

Actually, they are all cherry petals fallen into the pond!

They are called “hana ikada” (meaning “cherry raft”) in Japanese. I was amazed to find such a big hana ikada for the first time! It was so beautiful, but I cried in my heart because it means so many petals had fallen! And my dearest followers are on the way to Tokyo!!!!!

Thinking of a trip from Tokyo?

I’ve heard moans and screams from some of you coming to Tokyo in April. I suppose you might be thinking of a trip to somewhere you’ll be able to see standard cherry blossoms at the peak. At this moment, I have 2 suggestions.

Sendai

According to the forecast, the peak of cherry blossoms in Sendai will come on 5 April.

Sendai is the biggest city in Northeast Japan with a long history from the age of samurais. I have written a guide to its famous Star Festival on this blog, so you can see how the city is like.

You can go there by Shinkansen (super express) from Tokyo Station. A day trip is possible.

Read A Guide to Sendai, Japan

Mito

Mito is famous for plum blossoms rather than cherry blossoms. But I heard on TV this morning that cherry blossoms just reached peak in Kairakuen Garden, so you won’t be too late there.

It is a day trip destination from Tokyo. You catch a rapid train at Ueno Station.

Read A Short Trip to Mito (a practical travel guide included)

More Updates Coming on Tokyo Direct Guide

I’m also planning to write some information about late kinds of cherry blossoms inside Tokyo. I might write a new article for travelers heading for cherry blossoms in 2018.

My biggest wish is you enjoy your trip to Tokyo at the most without stress and inconvenience – that’s why I started the Tokyo Direct Guide project. I hope to help you.

Emergency Article Updated!

2018 is becoming such an abnormal year for cherry blossoms. I hear many travelers who booked their trip in early April can’t catch up.

To help you seeing cherry blossoms at the most, I wrote a NEW ARTICLE to suggest trips from Tokyo and report late kinds in Tokyo. I wish it will be some help for you to enjoy your trip as much as possible.

[Emergency] April 2018 Cherry Blossom Destinations From / In Tokyo

Sakura Forecast (Updated on 5 April)

Tokyo: Started to open on 17 March / Reached to peak on 24 March

Osaka: Started to open on 20 March / Reached peak on 26 March

Kyoto: Started to open on 22 March / Reached peak on 28 March

Nara: Started to open on 24 March / Reached peak on 29 March

Nagoya: Started to open on 19 March / Reached peak on 27 March

Hiroshima: Started to open on 22 March / Reached peak on 28 March

Fukuoka: Started to open on 19 March /Reached peak on 27 March

Sendai: Started to open on 30 March / Reached peak on 4 April

Akita: 13 April / 18 April

Morioka (Iwate Prefecture): 15 April / 20 April

Aomori: 18 April / 23 April

Sapporo: 29 April/ 3 May

I have 3 things to tell you today!

First, cherry blossoms reached peak in Sendai on 4 April, which is 12 days earlier than average years. TWELVE DAYS! It surprises Sendai locals so much. If you are thinking of going there, I’ve written an emergency travel guide.

Second, I updated the forecast for cities in Northeast Japan including Akita, Morioka (Iwate) and Aomori above. Basically Tokyo Direct Guide focuses on Tokyo (no need to explain), but I sometimes write travel guides of other places in Japan. Some of you are planning to go somewhere from Tokyo, aren’t you?

Third, I report that some late kinds of cherry blossoms are at the peak in Tokyo now!

In Tokyo City, 3 April, 2018

Honestly, I wasn’t ready. Normally, standard kinds are blooming fully this time! I hope you enjoy your trip with them as much as possible.

Updated on 10 April

Standard cherry blossoms have left East and West Japan including Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, etc, except highlands. Now the “sakura front” is going up Northeast Japan. Here is the forecast.

Sendai: Started to open on 30 March / Reached peak on 4 April

Akita: 14 April / 20 April

Morioka (Iwate Prefecture): 17 April / 20 April

Aomori: 18 April / 23 April

Sapporo (Hokkaido): 30 April/ 4 May

Standard cherry blossoms last for 7 – 10 days. I suggested a trip to Sendai for travelers who missed the best season in Tokyo, but this advice is getting old now. Time flies like an arrow!

In Tokyo, late-blooming cherry blossoms are at peak. I see the lovely beautiful round blossoms in many places such as streets and parks – and some are dropping some petals! So I advise you not to postpone going sakura viewing!

The Tokyo Event Information for April was updated on the top page of Tokyo Direct Guide. My recommendation is Spring Peony Garden in Ueno Park. Beautiful season lasts after cherry blossoms, so keep following!

Updated on 13 April

According to the forecast, cherry blossoms reached peak in Yamagata Prefecture on 11 April, which is 8 days earlier than average years. The forecast for Northeast Japan and Hokkaido changed, so if you are planning a trip, check it out.

Akita: 17 April / 21 April

Morioka (Iwate Prefecture): 18 April / 22 April

Aomori: 19 April / 23 April

Sapporo (Hokkaido): 28 April/ 2 May

Remember that the peak lasts 7 – 10 days. I recommended a trip to Sendai to those who were too late in Tokyo, but it’s an old story now.

In Tokyo, late-blooming cherry blossoms are leaving. In my heart, the sakura season has gone. But I’ll keep updating this cherry blossoms forecast until May, so keep following!

Updated on 16 April

Cherry blossoms will open in Northeast Japan this week.

Akita: 17 April / 21 April

Morioka (Iwate Prefecture): 18 April / 22 April

Aomori: 19 April / 23 April

Sapporo (Hokkaido): 29 April/ 3 May

If planning a trip, just remember that cherry blossoms’ peak lasts for 7 – 10 days.

The season of cherry blossoms has completely left Tokyo. It is mid April, but the nature is like May around me. If visiting Spring Peony Garden in Ueno, peony flowers are blooming earlier than normal years as well!

Updated on 23 April

Cherry blossoms have reached the peak in Northeast Japan. These cities are your travel destinations now!

Akita: 17 April / 20 April

Morioka (Iwate Prefecture): 17 April / 20 April

Aomori: 19 April / 22 April

Sapporo (Hokkaido): 25 April/ 29 April

Hokkaido is the last place for sakura viewing, but the sakura season is forecast to be early there, too.

Cherry blossoms are in the past in my mind, so I feel a little strange to still talk about them here. The grand finale of cherry blossom forecast 2018 will come in early May. I wish you have a wonderful trip in North Japan!

Updated on 2 May

Cherry blossoms are blooming fully in Hokkaido now. The following are cities in Hokkaido.

Sapporo: 26 April /29 April

Asahikawa: 30 April / 1 May

Hakodate: 25 April / 28 April

Kushiro: 10 May / 14 May

The next update will be the Grand Finale of Cherry Blossom Forecast 2018. I’ll look back at cherry blossoms of this year. How was your spring this year?

Thank You For Following Cherry Blossom Forecast  2018! (Updated on 10 May)

This is the Grand Finale of this year. I’d like to look back at the sakura season in 2018 and look forward to the next year!

The sakura season was extremely early in Tokyo  in 2018. Cherry blossoms started to open on 17 March and reached peak on 24 March – it’s 10 days earlier than average years!

The forecast suddenly changed in March, so travelers didn’t have choices to reschedule. Apparently it broke their heart. I heard so many screams and moans from visitors who booked a trip in early April. I am a local, so I was able to go sakura-viewing in March. But I cried in my heart under fully blooming cherry blossoms because my dearest followers were coming later!

Can you imagine I rather felt sad here…?

As a local, I believe 2018 was totally exceptional. Cherry blossoms are the symbol of new life starting in April in Japan. If they all fell in March, they’d have nothing to do with school entrance ceremonies!

However, if you plan a sakura viewing trip, I advise you to know that the worst case scenario like 2018 can happen to you because cherry blossoms belong to nature. I seriously want you to enjoy your trip in Tokyo at the most, but humans’ “forecast” is just our ideas after all.

Late kinds of cherry blossoms came so early, too.

They reached peak in early April, when standard kinds are blooming and a little falling in average years. I really wish that heartbroken travelers caught up with them at least!

OK, finally it’s time to say good bye to Japan’s most beautiful season.

Thank you for following Cherry Blossom Forecast for Japan 2018. Whichever you are a traveler or just reading this article, I hope you’ve enjoyed it since January. And please give a big hand to Weather Map, a Japanese weather forecast company that this article is sourced from.

See you in Cherry Blossom Forecast 2019 coming in January!

Keep in touch with Tokyo Direct Guide

 

2 thoughts on “Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Forecast for Japan 2018

  • 2018-03-18 at 11:39 PM
    Permalink

    Well, we try to be positive. but honest to self. by the time we arrive in Tokyo April 3rd -10th (hotel rooms booked) we will be about 10-15 days too late. Carpet of petals on grounds. The whole purpose of enjoying the blooms is defeated. We know what to do. What a pity! There is always another time.

    Good luck

    Reply

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