The dates are out! You can finally plan your trips to Japan to view the magical and ethereal Sakura trees in full bloom this year. Every year there is speculation, estimation, and forecasts based on previous years. It doesn’t always begin at the same time so make sure to check the flowering dates in the different regions before booking your tickets. It is not an exact science of course, and the dates may still shift by a day or two. However, by using this map you can try to plan your trip to maximize your experience in this beautiful country.
This year, the Japan Meteorological Corporation has released this map of flowering dates for 2020.
Hanami, also known as the Sakura viewing festival is a much-awaited time of year for Japanese people. Many locals and tourists flock to the gardens to have picnics and little trips around the countryside and in cities to view and enjoy the gorgeous pink and white cherry blossom trees slowly flower. Once heavily laden with blooms, they drift down in a shower of soft pink and white petals.
Normally Hanami reaches its peak in April, but you can still visit in March as it is expected to arrive earlier this year. Sakura will start flowering in the Southern regions first and gradually move to the Northern regions of Japan as April progresses.
Some great locations to experience Sakura are Kyoto with its many gardens and temples beautifully landscaped and filled with cherry blossom trees. Totally ‘Insta worthy’ by the way. Tokyo will give you more than just blooms to look at, so it will be interesting to see what it’s like to have a pink oasis amidst their neon and glass cityscapes. Nara is another little destination with a deer park and plenty of hills and gardens to set up a picnic or just walk around and admire nature at its finest. Sakura is expected to bloom in Hokkaido last, and they have some unique gardens designed to showcase the beauty of the region. No matter where you go in Japan during this season, you are sure to be entranced by this natural spectacle of blooms.
Japan is exceptionally well connected by its train network, bullet trains and buses so traveling between cities is a piece of cake. Take advantage of that and see how many spots you can hit up this year!