The Japan Meteorological Corporation (JMC) has just released its annual Cherry Blossom Flowering Forecast Map. And you know what that means: it’s time to start planning your hanami holiday.

There’s plenty of information online about the best spots in Tokyo to view sakura, but once you’ve battled the crowds along Meguro River a couple of times, you might want to start thinking about getting out of the city and viewing the cherry blossoms in a more relaxed environment.

This is where JMC’s forecast map comes in handy, because you can plan your hanami getaway according to when the pink and white flowers come out to play across Japan. The forecast, which you can read here, gives estimates of flowering and full bloom dates for Somei Yoshino (Yoshino Cherry) trees in approximately 1,000 cherry blossom viewing locations in cities from Hokkaido to Kagoshima.

This year, Tokyo is set for an early bloom around March 22, with the peak period being March 30, but you can also head to Fukuoka, Osaka and Nagoya around the same time for March hanami. If you can’t get away in March, then April sees the flowers blossoming in the Tohoku region including Senda on April 10 and Akita on April 19. Notable dates are shown on the map below, and you can see the full table on the JMC site.


cherry blossom forecast

To read the Weekender Guide to Hanami in Tokyo, click here.