There are a lot of things a person can like about Japan. Its history is as eventful and colorful as it can get. They have a culture based on respect and tradition. Its cuisine is healthy and addictive. This list can go on and on and that is certainly a good thing because those are all things you can enjoy when you visit their country. Amongst all the things you can find on this list, the existence of the cherry blossom trees or the Sakura has to be one of the luckiest things that could have happened to Japan.
The Impact of Cherry Blossoms in Japan and the Dates They Bloomed in 2018
Japan is lucky to have abundant with Sakura because it makes them an instant destination for people who want to see something they cannot see anywhere else. Japan without the pull that these cherry blossom trees have on people is already a very interesting country to visit and explore but with the impact that the Sakura brings, it becomes extremely clear how they were able to increase the number of tourists that visit them per year. Some people go to Japan a certain time of the year for the cold weather or a certain festival and the Sakura does this as well because it only blooms once a year and when they do, it certainly a sight that you will never forget.
You see it depicted in their manga, in their anime, and even in their historic artwork so you know that the cherry blossom trees have been a “muse” for the Japanese artists of the past and of the present. In a way, it has become a symbol that represents Japan and the Japanese have taken advantage of that in a marvelous way. As you may already know, the different parts of Japan, like the region of Hokkaido versus the region of Kanto, offer different types of scenic views. Luckily, not all the cherry blossom trees in Japan bloom at the same time due to different factors so if you know when they bloom in a certain area, you can actually see all the types of scenic views with the addition of these beautiful Sakura flowers. For example, Mount Fuji is beautiful as is but with the dash of Sakura flowers in full bloom, it becomes an even more magical place to see.
The time when they bloom changes every year but not by a lot. Maybe if you compare data from 10 years ago to the present, the difference will be a month or a month and a half but in the latest years, they’ve only been days to weeks apart. Regardless of this, if you are going to Japan for just a week, for example, it will be difficult to time your visit to a certain area’s full bloom. With this said, it would help you a lot in making an itinerary for your trip if you know the data from the previous year. The first Sakura blooming that happens in Japan is always in Naha, Okinawa. In 2018, it bloomed on the 10th day of January.
After Naha bloomed, the next blooming that happened started in Kagoshima and it was recorded to be on the 17th of March. If you look at a map of Japan, look for Kagoshima and run your way upwards to Sapporo. This is the direction of cherry blossom blooming that happens in Japan with the area of Sapporo being the last to experience it. Fukuoka and Kochi experienced the fully bloomed flowers on the 17th of March as well while Hiroshima, Kyoto, and Osaka saw their fully bloomed flowers a week later, specifically on the 23rd of March. Nagoya and Shizuoka saw theirs on the 18th of March while Tokyo saw its flowers in full bloom a day after that. Fukushima and Akita saw their flowers bloom on April 4 and April 16, respectively, while Sapporo and Kushiro ended the season with fully bloomed flowers on May 1 and May 11 of last year.
Given that the weather conditions this year didn’t change drastically, you can expect the blooming of these flowers to be maybe 3 to 4 days before or after their full bloom in 2018. You can also opt to check the 2019 forecast for the cherry blossom season but just remember that those are also estimated so it would be safer for you to have more than one basis for the dates of your visit if you really want to see the beauty of the Sakura in full bloom. If you have the time and the money to make your trip longer in Japan, that would also be a smart decision because it gives you more options on where you might want to see those flowers in full bloom.
The Dates of the Cherry Blossom Season in Japan Which Includes a Detail Forecast for 2019
There are many guides and articles that you can find online which has an approximation of when the Sakura season will be this year. These guides or forecasts will more probably differ from one another but it should only be by days or a week at most. It would also be wise for you to base your trip on the first bloom of the flower in the area rather than estimations on when it will be in full bloom exactly. This way, you’ll have an allowance in case the full bloom period comes earlier than expected. As they say, it’s better to be super early than even a little late to a spot you have to be in anyway.
The flowering season, as said earlier, is different every year so you really have to do your part to research these details and information. Once you do that, it will be a breeze to plan the rest. There are many reports about when the first blooming will happen this year and, on average, they have anticipated it to start on March 5, excluding the blooming of the trees in Okinawa which usually happens in January. The days in between are hard to guess precisely but the blooming season is expected to hit the Sapporo area by May 3rd. Comparing those dates to last year, you can already see that it seems to be leaning to the fact that the blooming season will be a couple of days later this year.
These aren’t too accurate but you might as well note that the expected first bloom in Osaka is on the 25th of March while its full bloom is expected to be on the 1st of April. Nagoya and Tokyo will apparently see the fully bloomed flowers earlier this year as they are projected to be first blooming on the 21st of March and fully bloomed by the end of March. Niigata and Sendai are expected to have the same blooming period which starts on April 6 and fully blooms by April 12. As mentioned earlier, Sapporo’s first bloom is expected to be on May 3 and its fully bloomed flower will shine by the May 7.
The History of the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan and the Dates for This Year’s Festivities
Hanami is great and all because these flowers and trees are definitely eye-catching and, as is, they are surely worth your time to see and visit but that isn’t all there is here. Luckily, seeing the trees and flowers in full bloom aren’t the only things to enjoy when you go to Japan during this period of the year. Throughout the whole 2-3 months that the Sakura blooms in the different areas of Japan, there are gatherings, events, and many other activities that were created to bring the entire nation of Japan together during this time. It is called the National Cherry Blossom Festival and its origin dates back as far as the 1920s.
If you want to go in detail with the things you learn about how this festival started and continued to grow, you can easily read a full article about it online to satisfy you. It’s a pretty interesting story but a lengthy on so to summarize it, it started with a kind gesture. The world in the 1920s was starting to take notice of how beautiful the cherry blossom trees. Japan knew this so they gave some trees to the US as a sign of good faith. The US accepted with open arms and in the following years, they would also offer to plant some trees that were unique to the US. This trees exchanging slowly started more events between the two to celebrate and commemorate the friendship of the nations.
Unfortunately, years after the exchange of trees, Japan was struck by a calamity that wiped out a lot of cherry blossom trees in their land. As a reply, the US gave back the trees that Japan planted on their land. Japan certainly appreciated the gesture and their relationship grew even fonder. The festival was extended longer to have more events in celebration and it slowly spread throughout the country. It continued to grow until it became the long and entertaining festival that you can see and experience in this day and age.
There are a lot of things to enjoy here like carnivals and lots of street food everywhere and because of the atmosphere it creates, it isn’t only families and friends bonding with each other but also lovers. It shouldn’t come as a surprise because guys give beautiful flowers to girls everywhere in the world as a sign of romance so having fully bloomed cherry blossom flowers around you will automatically create a romantic environment as well. This flower watch is paired with wonderful fireworks to end the day and with all these things coming into play, it becomes no brainer why more people fall in love during this season. It is a dating gold mine.
All the information here should make it easy for you to plan the spots you want to hit up when you travel to Japan for the Sakura blooming. It really is an experience to see these flowers fully bloomed as well as enjoy the festivities that happen while these flowers are blooming. In addition to the view, those months in Japan are still pretty cold so it is very enjoyable to just walk around as you bask in the natural beauty that the Sakura gives Japan. Take lots of photos and make a lot of memories during your visit here because it truly is something special to see this with your own eyes. People from all over the globe go back to Japan for these events even if they’ve seen it already. With that fact that people spend money and time to come back again, you can be assured that your time and money will also be worth spending to see this type of beauty that you can only catch once a year in Japan.