Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Forecast for Japan 2020

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 2020

(Attention! The first forecast that was released on 23 January has been updated! Please go down to the latest information released on 5 March.)

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!

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 to 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.

A Guide to Sendai, Japan – Photos of Tanabata Star Festival & Foods

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.

3 Reasons to Visit Ueno Park AFTER Cherry Blossom (Sakura) Festival

And remember: If you are not sure where to go to see natural beauty in Tokyo, Shinjuku Gyoen Garden is always the best choice.

Cherry Blossoms for Travelers Visiting Japan Later than Standard Sakura – Shinjuku Gyoen Garden

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!

Forecast Updated on 27 February

Tokyo: Start to open on 15 March / Reach to peak on 23 March

Osaka: 20 March / 28 March

Kyoto: 18 March / 26 March

Nara: 17 March / 24 March

Nagoya: 17 March / 27 March

Fukuoka: 16 March / 28 March

Hiroshima: 16 March / 26 March

Sendai: 26 March / 1 April

Sapporo: 24 April / 28 April

The forecast became 1 day later, 1 day better, in most major cities in Japan. Not in Tokyo…

But it’s not time for cherry blossoms out there. The new corona virus (COVID-19) has completely changed Japanese March. Fortunately I’m completely fine, but 210 people got the virus in Japan. 4 of them have passed away (they were all old people with other diseases).

Throughout the country, concerts, baseball matches, rugby matches, sports tournaments, symposiums and any events that attract people are canceled. Poor students, even graduation ceremonies (students enter school in April and graduate in March in Japan) are no more! Moreover, Prime Minister Abe told all schools to close in March and he didn’t show any medical reason for it… People are angry that he brought chaos; this is not his entertainment show, but politics and economics and real life in the real world! And was it a due procedure that democracy requests? Honestly I’m so frustrated at the brainless politicians.

That’s not all. Common runners won’t run in the Tokyo Marathon on 1 March. It’ll be a quiet race. Tokyo Disney Land decided to close from 29 February. Everything is like that in Tokyo now.

The “mask craze” demonstrates people’s panic so well. If you are visiting Japan, I advise you to buy masks in your country and pack them in your suitcase. ALL stores are short of masks in Japan now. If you want to buy them, you need to queue in front of a big shopping center (in winter winds) for two hours. If you lose the race, you won’t get any. In some online auctions, masks are as expensive as digital cameras! Can you believe that??? In fact, doctors doubt that masks are very effective to avoid the virus, but at least cedar trees blast pollen that causes sneezes in this season, so people do want MASKS.

I want to know medical reasons for any actions about the new corona virus. That’s the only way to judge it was appropriate or not.

Under the situation like that, I suppose some of you have given it up to view cherry blossoms in Japan this year. And as a Tokyo local, I’m not sure how they will be like on 23 March, either.

But some of you are still coming, right? Then, I should give you some useful information to make your trip as good as possible. Here’s the forecast for Northern Japan for those who are planning a trip in April.

Sendai: 26 March / 1 April

Fukushima: 24 March / 29 March

Yamagata: 1 April / 7 April

Akita: 5 April / 11 April

Morioka (Iwate Prefecture): 7 April / 14 April

Aomori: 12 April / 18 April

Sapporo: 24 April / 28 April

I can see Northern Japan locals rushing to eye doctors to see this forecast. Especially, look at Sendai and Fukushima. It should be the forecast for Tokyo!

Anyway, I hope you travelers can pick up a good place to travel.

This spring is a true MESS in Tokyo. I don’t know how cherry blossom viewing will be this year, but I’ll keep updating this article. Whichever you are interested in cherry blossoms or corona virus, stay tuned.

Forecast Updated on 5 March

Tokyo: Start to open on 14 March / Reach to peak on 22 March

Osaka: 20 March / 29 March

Kyoto: 18 March / 27 March

Nara: 17 March / 25 March

Nagoya: 17 March / 27 March

Fukuoka: 17 March / 29 March

Hiroshima: 17 March / 27 March

Sendai: 25 March / 31 March

Sapporo: 24 April / 28 April

Hi, how are you? I’m completely fine. Wish you are, too.

The new corona virus changed everything in Japan. I suppose many of you had to cancel your trip for cherry blossoms, but I keep updating this cherry blossom forecast and hopefully report some pics when they bloom.

It’s just shocking to me that cherry blossoms start to open on White Day…!

I’ll also update the forecast for Northern Japan for those who are looking for good places to view cherry blossoms. I think Sendai locals will be blacked out to see fully blooming cherry blossoms in March.

Sendai: 25 March / 31 March

Fukushima: 24 March / 30 March

Yamagata: 1 April / 7 April

Akita: 4 April / 10 April

Morioka (Iwate Prefecture): 6 April / 13 April

Aomori: 11 April / 18 April

Sapporo: 24 April / 28 April

This is a blog. I think I should tell the world things that are really going on around me. I should keep the diary about the time when the new virus made people falling into a panic.

When I updated the sakura forecast last time, I said the “mask craze” was so serious in Tokyo. Next comes “toilet paper craze” and “tissue paper craze”. When I go to any shopping center and chemist in Tokyo now, the shelves are all empty.

These crazes happened all because of MISINFORMATION on Twitter. One day afternoon, someone tweeted like, “Much paper is necessary for mask makers to make masks, so maybe other paper products will run short next.” or something like that. This was the beginning of all. People rushed to supermarkets and chemists, and then, toilet paper and tissue paper suddenly disappeared from Japan. The organization of paper product makers immediately held a press conference in that evening to tell the public that it was MISINFORMATION and they had enough toilet paper and tissue paper in store, but the panic had begun. In my opinion, the paper product makers did a good job, but what had happened has happened.

Dear my readers, this is a lesson. Never share unclear information on social media.

I do know the “toilet paper craze” and “tissue paper craze” are totally baseless and pointless and STUPID. It’s SO ANNOYING. Many Japanese people believe so, too.

But once misinformation panic happens, it is unstoppable. Toilet paper and tissue paper DO disappear from the city you live in. And you need them every day, don’t you? That’s why even baseless stupid misinformation is unstoppable.

How about masks now? The “mask craze” has ended? – No. They are even running shorter than ever. Finally, my local biggest supermarket couldn’t offer any masks to their customers today. Aren’t you a wholesaler? Could you export masks and paper products to Japan?

The paper panic might be just stupid. My biggest worry is on something else.

I wish this new corona virus time will not be the beginning of dictatorship in Japan. And it must not be.

The Japanese Prime Minister Abe wants to declare “national emergency” now. You know how dangerous it is. Seriously it is more horrifying to me than the virus.

I normally don’t say, “Listen to me!” on the Tokyo Direct Guide project because it is a travel guide to help you. But this time, I ask you to listen to me. Please keep an eye on what the Japanese government is doing now. I’m so encouraged if you watch the situations of human rights and democracy in Japan from your country.

Oops, I don’t forget cherry blossoms! I make sure to update them when they open!

Forecast Updated on 12 March

Tokyo: Start to open on 13 March / Reach to peak on 22 March

Osaka: 20 March / 27 March

Kyoto: 19 March / 26 March

Nara: 19 March / 25 March

Nagoya: 19 March / 27 March

Fukuoka: 21 March / 30 March

Hiroshima: 19 March / 26 March

Sendai: 24 March / 29 March

Sapporo: 23 April / 27 April

Updated on 15 March

Japan Meteorological Agency announced that cherry blossoms started to open in Tokyo on 14 March! It is the earliest record in the history.

But I must add a comment – in fact, it SNOWED in Tokyo on White Day! Normally, last snow is in February here. So it’s totally crazy!

I personally had a reservation at the restaurant for my family’s birthday, so I had to go out, but the waitress said, “there is no one in the street.” She is right. I saw literally no one through the window! These days, people make every effort not to go out because of COVID-19. When it’s freezing out there, every single one stays at home. (I really wish that the beautiful Japanese restaurant will not be bankrupted… Talking about the travel industry in Japan, some hotels have already got bankrupted due to the virus panic! The law got revised this week and it enables the prime minister to order prefecture governors to cancel events and tell citizens not to go out as possible. Prime Minister Abe hasn’t used the right yet, but citizens’ freedom can be limited now. Looking back the history, “disease” is one of the factors in oppression and discrimination for human beings. Everyone, be careful of agitation.)

5 cherry buds opened earliest in the history in the snow on White Day. I’ll never forget 2020 spring.

Weather forecasters say the peak will be next weekend. Be careful of the corona virus and demagogues, and have a nice sakura viewing!

Forecast Updated on 19 March

Tokyo: Started to open on 14 March / Reach to peak on 23 March

Osaka: 22 March / 29 March

Kyoto: 22 March / 29 March

Nara: 21 March / 27 March

Nagoya: 19 March / 27 March

Fukuoka: 21 March / 30 March

Hiroshima: 21 March / 28 March

Sendai: 25 March / 29 March

Sapporo: 21 April / 25 April

So, the forecast looks like almost an average year now. Cherry blossoms reach to the peak on 29 March – that’s not surprising to me.

Frankly, I haven’t seen any cherry blossom yet.

Reading the Weather Map article, I don’t think the forecasters are confident of themselves now. I suppose they feel awkward about how excited they were.

Cherry blossoms will flourish as they do every year beside humans in confusion. In Japan, masks have completely disappeared from anywhere. Tissue and toilet paper craze is still lasting.

The next problem is the Olympic Games that is going to be held in Tokyo this summer! If it is canceled, I’d be black out and get sick in bed… I’ve written the world’s first review of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium! Now I feel it was a dream or miracle that I enter the stadium myself…

Japan has built the brand new Olympic Stadium, gym, swimming pools and accommodation. I don’t want to imagine the worst case scenario that all the MONEY that was spent for the preparation turns to be a huge waste. Seriously, if the Olympic Games is canceled, I’m sure that Japanese citizens will be panicked in emotion and politics. Frankly, it’s dangerous for the world. We need a wise decision.

Well, when I find some open cherry blossoms, I’ll show you! Stay tuned!

[Latest] Forecast Updated on 23 March & Report!

Tokyo: Started to open on 14 March / Reached peak on 22 March

Osaka: 23 March / 3 April

Kyoto: 22 March / 2 April

Nara: 24 March / 27 March

Nagoya: 22 March / 1 April

Fukuoka: 21 March / 3 April

Hiroshima: 22 March / 1 April

Sendai: 25 March / 30 March

Sapporo: 21 April / 25 April

The forecasters claimed that cherry blossoms reached peak in Tokyo on 22 March. But people didn’t believe it at all. I had seen few blossoms opened in my local streets. People around me said the same thing. Japanese photographers on Twitter did, too.

I feel so bitter about the forecasters this year. They just wanted to excite people during this corona virus depression, so they told a lie. I sometimes see commercialism behind the sakura peak announcement – if they say cherry blossoms are blooming fully on weekend, people go picnicking and spend money. But this time, they completely betrayed people’s trust on them by claiming that cherry blossoms reached peak beside buds. They failed me.

In the other cities, it seems cherry blossoms will open at the VERY SLOW pace. If they reach peak in April, 2020 will be an average year.

Cherry Blossom Photos on 24 March

I had a chance to visit Yoyogi Park on 24 March. I didn’t expect much, but they were beautiful enough!

cherry trees and hut
Yoyogi Park, Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan (24 March)

I can say the sakura season has come.

As far as I see it, 60% of cherry buds opened.

blue sky and cherry blossoms

Japanese people never say this is the peak of cherry blossoms. The forecasters are totally lying. Look at the reality.

But some lucky cherry trees showed the perfect scene to me!

many cherry blossoms

If you saw only this photo, you’d felt the perfect days have come.

I think it’s still 60% on 24 March, but it’s enjoyable enough. If you are a photographer, this year is rather a great chance because there are not many picnicking people under the trees. You’ll never see Yoyogi Park in the sakura season like this again!

cherry trees and picnicking people

If you are visiting Japan, wash your hands and have a wonderful sakura viewing!

Tokyo’s Cherry Blossom Spot – Yoyogi Park, Harajuku

World’s Easiest Harajuku Travel Guide

cherry blossoms and blue sky

 

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!

Top Places

Ueno Park

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!

Cherry Blossoms & Tokyo National Museum

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.

Ueno Park Cherry Blossom Festival – Why You Shouldn’t Miss Shinobazu Pond

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!

World’s Easiest Ueno Travel Guide

Asakusa

Perfect Guide of Asakusa Sumida River Cherry Blossom Festival

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.

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

World’s Easiest Asakusa Sightseeing Guide

Imperial Palace

Every travel guidebook will show you cherry blossoms around Imperial Palace. You’ll never be disappointed!

Imperial Palace (Chidorigafuchi) Cherry Blossom Festival

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!

Yoyogi Park, Harajuku – It’s a place for picnicking beside the most popular street in Japan. Read Harajuku Sightseeing Guide as well!

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.

 

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