When to admire the blooming cherry trees (sakura) in spring in Japan?

Sakura is the Japanese word for Japanese cherry trees and their flowers.

There are several types of cherry trees flowers to watch: some are white, pale pink, dark pink and even yellow. The most famous and most common type of cherry tree flower is the Somei Yoshino, a white flower with hues of pale pink and five petals.

The blooming of sakura is celebrated all over Japan and is called Hanami. The flowering of Japanese cherry trees last about one to two weeks maximum, which requires to plan carefully your trip so as not to miss them. Moreover, the blooming dates vary from place to place, and it is important to check the cities’ flowering forecasts.

Against a popular misconception, sakura don’t bloom in April: in the most touristic regions, the flowers appear as soon as mid-March and most of them have fallen at the beginning of April.

Hanami blooming calendar

The dates below (beginning / flowering peak) are for indicative purpose only:

  • Tokyo: March 16 / March 24 
  • Kyoto: March 20 / March 29 
  • Osaka: March 23 / March 31 
  • Hiroshima: March 20 / March 30 
  • Kanazawa: March 29 / April 4