UPDATE (FEB 4, 2011): tenki.jp has reduced it’s annual Japan cherry blossom forecast for 2011, a screenshot of which is below. It looks like Tokyo is on the line for blooming in March, and we are looking at the turn of the month for most of Japan. Fukuoka, Kochi, and warmer climates seem to have an early date. The further north you go, dates will be later and later in April.
Major news outlets are reporting that the cherry blossoms (sakura) will bloom slightly early in 2011. I will update this post when there are more precise predictions out in February, however signs point to there being early blooms with
Tokyo sakura are expected to start blooming around March 25, reaching full bloom in early April, possibly on the 2nd.
Osaka cherry blossoms will start opening in around March 27th, and bloom in full on April 4th.
Fukuoka, Kumamoto, and Kochi will start early on March 23rd and are expected to bloom in full around April 1st.
The early bloom, if it happens as expected, should make for some beautiful school and company entrance ceremonies. Local parks that have “Sakura Matsuri” or Cherry Blossom Festivals, tend to start them in late February or early March and go on through until the end of the season in mid to late February.
As I mentioned above, I will update this post if I see any changes in the 2011 cherry blossom sakura forecasts.
Tenki.jp has updated their calendar for the sakura forecast as of February 23. I’ve put it below:
UPDATE March 25, 2011
Here is the latest map from Tenki.jp, released a few days ago. I’ve heard that Miyazaki and some of the earlier places are starting to see a little blooming.
It looks like a lot of the dates are delayed from the original. I’m sure when the full bloom reaches the Tohoku region, there will be some amazing and sad pictures of the trees that survived against the backdrop of the damage from the earthquake and tsunami.
(I added a post about some places in Tokyo for cherry blossoms at night and another about places to see cherry blossoms around the Kobe area.)