Cherry blossom forecast was released by Weathermap, a Japanese weather forecast company. Again in 2020, Tokyo Direct Guide translates the latest information in English and add comments from my point of view. It’s the 7th year for me to write the cherry blossom forecast – hope it’ll be helpful for you more than ever!
The First Forecast
(Attention! The first forecast that was released on 23 January has been updated! Please go down to the latest information.)
Tokyo: Start to open on 22 March / Reach to peak on 29 March
Osaka: 25 March / 2 April
Kyoto: 25 March / 2 April
Nara: 25 March / 31 April
Nagoya: 24 March / 2 April
Fukuoka: 21 March / 1 April
Hiroshima: 23 March / 1 April
Sendai: 8 April / 13 April
Sapporo: 28 April / 30 April
According to Weathermap, the cherry blossom season of 2020 will be early like last year. In some cities, it’ll be VERY early.
Honestly I’m not happy to hear that! If you have been following my Tokyo Direct Guide project, you remember what happened in the past years – especially in 2018. It was just heartbreaking for me to see many travelers who learned that all cherry blossoms would fall when they arrive in Japan… I still don’t forget their moans at all. In my opinion, 29 March is so early for cherry blossoms to reach to peak in Tokyo.
What’s the date of your flight ticket? The peak of cherry blossoms normally last for 7 days. In case you think you’ll possibly be late, it may be a good idea to prepare some subplans for your trip.
The forecast changes from time to time. Just as I did in the past years, I’ll update THIS article whenever the forecast is updated. I’ll tell you on Facebook, so follow me to catch up. Stay tuned to Tokyo-Direct-Guide.com!
Forecasts & Reports in the Past Years
You want to know some examples of cherry blossoms, don’t you?
- 2019 – I think it was relatively a difficult year to tell when exactly the peak was, but cherry blossoms were surely beautiful.
- 2018 – So this is the heartbreaking year for travelers when the peak came late March… I published an emergency update for travelers in tragedy.
- 2017 – The sakura season came average, but I think the forecasters failed to report it properly, so I wrote what I saw and heard.
- 2016 – An average year. I visited many places, took so many photos and wrote many new articles in 2016.
- 2015 – Average or a little early.
- (2014) – This is my first attempt to write a cherry blossom forecast.
I wish 2020 won’t be an extreme year and you’ll enjoy most beautiful days in Japan!
Forecast Updated on 6 February
Tokyo: Start to open on 18 March / Reach to peak on 28 March
Osaka: 20 March / 29 March
Kyoto: 17 March / 27 March
Nara: 17 March / 26 March
Nagoya: 18 March / 29 March
Fukuoka: 17 March / 28 March
Hiroshima: 17 March / 27 March
Sendai: 1 April / 7 April
Sapporo: 25 April / 29 April
Typing the latest forecast, I’m just FROZEN. It’s WAY TOO EARLY! What’s the date of your flight ticket? I’m so sad to tell you that the forecasters say cherry blossoms in 2020 will come much earlier than average years…
But seeing the forecast for Tokyo, I think many of you will catch up with the peak days. If you are visiting Tokyo on 1, 2, 3 April, you won’t be too late. If cherry blossoms are blooming fully on 28 March, it’s true it’s early, but not extremely early for me. I’ve experienced some years like that. The problem is Nara… When April begins, cherry blossoms will be leaving there! If you are planning to visit many cities in Japan including Nara, I advise you to consider it now.
The forecast will change again. I really truly strongly wish it’ll be better for you!
[LATEST] Forecast Updated on 20 February
Tokyo: Start to open on 15 March / Reach to peak on 23 March
Osaka: 19 March / 28 March
Kyoto: 17 March / 25 March
Nara: 16 March / 23 March
Nagoya: 17 March / 27 March
Fukuoka: 15 March / 27 March
Hiroshima: 16 March / 25 March
Sendai: 27 March / 3 April
Sapporo: 24 April / 28 April
……I’m lost for words.
I grew up and have been living in Tokyo for years and I’ve never seen fully blooming cherry blossoms on 23 March in my life.
It’s heartbreaking for me to tell you this, but I believe I should. If the forecast comes true (sadly!) and cherry blossoms reach peak on 23 March, all blossoms will be gone in April. It’s crazy!
I do know this fact shocked most of you. But you are rather lucky to find Tokyo Direct Guide – You can take actions to PREVENT THE WORST CASE SCENARIO!
I’m telling all my readers to LOOK FOR NEW TRAVEL PLANS RIGHT NOW! If you are visiting Tokyo in early April, plan a trip to Northern Japan. Have other options beside your original travel schedule. Search for tours to a cold place. You have 1 month. It is not too late!
I have some advice for you who have a flight ticket to Japan in April. Hope it will be helpful for you!
First, basically, it is the best idea to visit Northern Japan in this situation because cherry blossoms bloom late there. So I’m listing up the forecast for northern cities in Japan.
Sendai: 27 March / 3 April
Fukushima: 25 March / 30 March
Yamagata: 3 April / 9 April
Akita: 6 April / 12 April
Morioka (Iwate Prefecture): 9 April / 16 April
Aomori: 14 April / 20 April
Sapporo: 24 April / 28 April
The city that attracted my attention was definitely Sendai. I can see Sendai locals blacked out to hear that cherry blossoms would reach peak there on 3 April, but I believe that’s good news who booked a trip to Tokyo on 3 April. (Normally, 3 April is the peak of cherry blossoms in Tokyo!) Sendai is the beautiful central city of Northeast Japan. Day trip is possible from Tokyo. Yes, Sendai can be the best option for you!
I’ve written an article about the summer festival in Sendai. I wrote how to get there from Tokyo, so if you think of visiting there, just read it.
And even if you are shocked without any idea to go somewhere else, you still have some chances to see some cherry blossoms.
First, the forecast will change again. It is not sure things go exactly along the forecast updated in February.
Second, your trip hasn’t been fixed to become a tragedy. For example, who are visiting Osaka? According to the forecast, cherry blossoms will reach peak on 28 March there. 28 March is considered to be just “earlier than average years” – not extremely early. So if you are visiting Osaka on 1, 2, 3 April, you won’t be late. Moreover, it depends on the tree when its buds open. Spring comes early for cherry trees with a lot of sunshine, but it doesn’t for unlucky trees in a shade. The reality about cherry blossoms is not as simple as the dates that the forecast suggests.
Third, I have said hundreds of times in this blog that there are late kinds of cherry blossoms. Although I’m not a botanist, I think, if the standard kinds bloom and fall in March, the late kinds of cherry blossoms will bloom super early – like early April.
And remember: If you are not sure where to go to see natural beauty in Tokyo, Shinjuku Gyoen Garden is always the best choice.
It’s like gambling to choose a right place on a right day this year. I’ll keep updating this article to help travelers visiting Japan for cherry blossoms. I’ll tell you the latest update on Facebook. Never give up. Stay tuned!
Best Places for Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo
The following articles are the top places to view cherry blossoms in Tokyo. Every article contains the practical travel guide as well as beautiful photos, so you can plan your trip perfectly!
1000 cherry trees become a “pale pink tunnel” – Ueno is famous for cherry blossoms as well as the zoo and museums. Remembering the past years of my Tokyo Direct Guide project, I visit there almost every year. I uploaded many beautiful photos in Cherry Blossom Forecast 2019. Can you see? I LOVE Ueno Park so much!
Beautiful, isn’t it? But I do not think this pic describes how beautiful it is fully!! That’s why I’ve written many articles.
Travel Tips: If you want some camera techniques for cherry blossoms in the evening, read Perfect Guide to Ueno Park Cherry Blossom Festival IN THE EVENING as well.
Travel Tips: If your trip is scheduled in early April, learn about Buddha’s Birthday in advance and you’ll enjoy Ueno Park in spring MORE!
Cherry blossoms along Sumida River in Asakusa have been loved by Japanese locals since samurais’ ages. Today, we can see Tokyo Skytree over cherry blossoms. It’s my favorite place, too.
Every travel guidebook will show you cherry blossoms around Imperial Palace. You’ll never be disappointed!
Japanese Gardens & More
The Huge Weeping Cherry Tree in Rikugien Garden – Rikugien is a large Japanese garden originated from samurais’ mansion. Generally, weeping cherry blossoms bloom earlier than standard kinds.
Koishikawa Korakuen Garden – One of the most beautiful Japanese gardens in Tokyo.
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden – Remember that Shinjuku Gyoen is the largest garden in Tokyo City. In case you are too early or late, go there and you’ll see some blossoms!
Guides, Reviews & Facts of Meguro River Cherry Blossom Festival – Meguro River is a NEW place that was turned into a cherry blossom spot by today’s people. Honestly it’s still a newbie for ME, but it’s true it’s popular and beautiful now!
Zojoji Temple & Tokyo Tower – It may not be called a cherry blossom spot, but you’ll love the view of Tokyo Tower with cherry blossoms.