THE Japan Cherry Blossom forecast (sakura kaika yosou) for 2016 is out. The announcement came out earlier this month and for those planning to visit the Land of the Rising Sun this spring, the bulletin states the best time to be at your Japanese city of destination.
|The Cherry Blossom in the unofficial national flower of Japan|
|The 2016 forecast. When you should be going to the place you want to spend the sakura season (source)|
To many, spring is the best time (and preferred time) to travel to a country with four seasons. It’s “sweater weather,” far from the biting cold of winter and the sweltering heat of summer. The perfect blend of cool temperature even on a sunny day makes the season friendly to both the ‘travel light’ globetrotters (unlike winter) and the fashionistas.
|Sweater weather! And for bringing so much beauty to the world, every Cherry Blossom tree deserves a hug. It took years of planning before I made it Japan on a sakura season|
Although the Cherry blossom (Sakura) is not one of Japan’s national flowers (the Yellow Chrysanthemum and the Japanese apricot are), it is considered unofficially as one because of its popularity in Japanese culture and has been celebrated for centuries.
|The flowers take about a week to reach full bloom & stays for a week before it falls off the branches. THe blooms along Ondagawa River|
The flowers take about a week to reach full bloom and stays for a week before it falls off the branches. Knowing both the blooming (kaika) and full bloom (mankai) predictions will allow the locals and the tourists to make the most out of the flower viewing (hanami) season.
|Ueno Park at dusk|
I am a late bloomer to the Sakura. My first visit to Japan in 2010 was on the onset of winter. It was love at first sight upon the sight of the cherry blossom and promised that I would be back again on springtime. That did not happen until 2015, but when it did, I was on Cloud 9, an appropriate description since cherry blossoms symbolize clouds in Japanese culture.
|In Tokyo, forecasted peak blook is April 2. Shinjuku Gyoen’s display of blooms|
If you ask me, the Sakura season is a very good time to visit Japan, or revisit if you’re a regular visitor of Japan. It will be an extraordinary experience, I assure you. The locals, who still can’t get enough of it, should be enough reason why you should experience the wonderful season.
|The locals can;t get enough of this season. Hanami in Ueno Park.|
On average, the Cherry Blossom season starts in January in Okinawa and journeys up the mainland to Hokkaido in May. But the 2016 forecast states that the blossoms will appear late due to the cold weather experienced this February. It will first appear in Fukuoka in March 25th and moves northward to Sapporo in May.
|A walk under the clouds. At Odawara Castle grounds|
If Tokyo is your point of destination, bloom is forecasted on March 26th with an estimated peak bloom in April 2 to 9. In Kyoto, it will start on March 29th with peak blooms on April 4 to 12.
If you’re planning to visit Japan for this reason then you have to be flexible with your schedule as the schedule may change as well. The weather plays an important role. If it gets too warm, the blooms come earlier and if it rains, the full blooms fall sooner.
|Sakura in full bloom|
The days you spend in Japan during Sakura will be worth every minute of your time. Move around leisurely the identified best spots for the flower viewing; it will be like a walk in heaven. Believe me, I’ve done it and will do it again.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 18, 2016.