Top up your holiday with cherry blossoms
Geng Siyuan

Cherry blossom season in Japan

If Japan is your next travel destination in the near future, you might want to keep an eye on the rise of the flight fare as the sakura blossom season is approaching. And you might want to join the hanami crowd as well.

What are “sakura” and “hanami”?

‘Sakura” means cherry blossom in Japanese, and “hanami” means “flower viewing.” It is estimated by Weathernews Inc., a weather forecast company in Japan, that the flowers will start blossoming from March 18 in Tokyo, Mar 23 in Osaka, and Mar 28 in Kyoto in Kanto and Kinki regions. Northern and southern parts of Japan will see the blossom later in April and May.

Though the three cities mentioned have different blossoming dates, they will go into full bloom at roughly the same time – the end of March and beginning of April. It is expected that the full bloom period will last about 10 days. So if you wish to ride the sakura wave on your trip from the country's east to west, or the other way around, the Chūō Line, the Toei Ōedo Line, and the many buses connecting train stations and the cities will free you from worries of transportation.

Admiring the blossoms at night in Tokyo. /VCG Photo

Admiring the blossoms at night in Tokyo. /VCG Photo

The expected dates of full bloom for Fukuoka, south of Japan, is on Mar 29, and May 1 for Hokkaido's signature tourist spot, Goryokaku Park, in the north of the country. 

Picnic under a cherry tree in Hokkaido. /VCG Photo

Picnic under a cherry tree in Hokkaido. /VCG Photo

People in Japan are enthusiastic about cherry blossoms. To them, this seasonal spectacle symbolizes the vitality of life in spring, though it "hath all too short a date." Perhaps that's why they put in so much effort to predict when exactly the blossom will happen. 

Due to changes in weather conditions, the dates fluctuate from year to year. The Japan Meteorological Agency stopped forecasting since 2010, as their capacity of data gathering could not match up against institutions such as the Weathernews Inc., which has more than 10,000 volunteering citizens uploading the growth of the trees they each trace after, and more than 700 parks nationwide to work with. 

In Japan, cherry blossom businesses range from cherry beer to snacks such as chips and candies.

Cherry blossom season in China

Spring breezes into every corner of the northern hemisphere. When you set foot in China, you will find the beauty of cherry blossoms over many places. 

It is expected that the flowers will be in full bloom in mid-March in Wuhan, Hangzhou, and Shanghai, central and eastern China. These landmark cities of China have amazing spots to offer for sure, but since you're already there, you don't want to miss out on the cherry on the top. 

Wuhan University. /VCG Photo

Wuhan University. /VCG Photo

Taiziwan Park, Hangzhou. /VCG Photo

Taiziwan Park, Hangzhou. /VCG Photo

Gucun Park, Shanghai. /VCG Photo

Gucun Park, Shanghai. /VCG Photo