Cherry blossoms expected to flower between late March & early May across Japan in 2023

Flowering is forecasted in Tokyo on March 21.

Gawain Pek | February 03, 2023, 12:48 PM

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With most travel restrictions for tourists to Japan now lifted, the Japanese Meteorological Corporation (JMC) has released a timely forecast for when Japanese cities will be covered in a sea of pink-and-white flowers from the cherry blossoms.

Cherry blossoms to flower late March to early May in 2023

The second cherry blossom forecast was updated by JMC on Jan. 26, and provides the forecast for around 1,000 cherry blossom viewing locations throughout Japan for the upcoming blooming period.

Cherry blossoms typically flower between late March and early May.

This year, the iconic flowers are expected to bloom at or earlier than normal across northern and eastern Japan.

Western Japan will see the flowers at or later than normal.

Tokyo first to see flowers on Mar. 21

The iconic flowers are forecasted to first appear in Japan's capital, Tokyo, on Mar. 21, before reaching full bloom on Mar. 29.

Kochi city is next to see the flowers, with the forecasted flowering date falling on Mar. 22 and full bloom expected on Mar. 30.

Sapporo, Hokkaido, will be one of the latest to see the cherry blossoms, with the flowering date forecasted to be Apr. 29 and full bloom expected on May 2.

Here are the flowering dates for other popular destinations across Japan:


  • Forecasted flowering date: Mar. 25
  • Full bloom: Apr. 3


  • Forecasted flowering date: Mar. 27
  • Full bloom: Apr. 4


  • Forecasted flowering date: Mar. 28
  • Full bloom: Apr. 4

    Dates of flowering across Japan. Image via JMC.

    Image via JMC.

    To help plan your trip, JMC also has a website that is updated daily at 9am indicating the flowering status of cherry blossoms in various locations around Japan.

    The updates are based on observations made on the previous day, rather than on the day itself.

    At the moment, the growth rate of cherry blossoms is 15 per cent in Tokyo, as flower buds are still growing into buds.

    Image via JMC.

    Celebrated occasion in Japan

    In Japan, cherry blossoms, called sakura, hold a cultural significance as their flowering marks the transition to warmer weather.

    Their blossoming is celebrated by the Japanese with picnics in the park and flower-viewing parties.

    According to JMC, the buds of cherry blossoms are formed during summer of the preceding year.

    They remain dormant to weather the harsher conditions of winter.

    The buds gradually awaken from their dormancy in anticipation of spring.

    As the weather warms, the buds grow and eventually flower. The warmer the temperatures, the better the growth rate.

    Cherry blossoms trees have flowers of varying degrees of pink and white, depending on the species.

    The most commonly found species in Japan is the Yoshino cherry, known for flowers with petals that are mostly white with hints of pink.

    In 2018, freak weather led to the cherry blossoms flowering six months earlier than expected.

    The next cherry blossom forecast update by JMC will come on Feb. 9.

    Top image via Unsplash