Updated prediction has sakura starting to appear in Tokyo almost a week earlier than expected.

Spring is just a few weeks away, and so people in Japan, as well as people about to travel to Japan, are starting to make their cherry blossom viewing. You might want to speed up your planning process, though, because a revised forecast is predicting that the sakura are going to start blooming earlier than usual this year.

As signs of spring, cherry blossoms begin to bloom after the winter chill has faded and warmer weather comes to Japan. With higher-than-average temperatures expected in late February and early March, Japan’s Weather Net meteorological organization is saying that Tokyo will be seeing the first sakura of the season almost a full week earlier than the Japan Meteorological Corporation forecast we looked at back in January. According to Weather Map’s calculations, the sakura will start to open in Tokyo on March 17, and also in Fukuoka on the same day.

▼ Forecast map for the “cherry blossom front,” as the phenomenon of sakura trees flowering first in the southern parts of Japan followed by northern regions, is called

● Predicted date for start of sakura blooming
Akita: April 12
Aomori: April 17
Fukuoka: March 17
Hiroshima: March 21
Kanazawa: March 28
Kobe: March 23
Kochi: March 19
Kyoto: March 21
Nagano: April 6
Nagoya: March 19
Nara: March 23
Osaka: March 23
Sapporo: April 26
Sendai: April 1
Shimonoseki: March 20
Tokyo: March 17
Yokohama: March 19

Of course, Japan’s cherry blossoms are at their most beautiful when entire trees are covered in the flowers’ pink petals. Weather Map is also predicting earlier-than-usual dates for full bloom.

● Predicted date for full sakura bloom
Akita: April 17
Aomori: April 22
Fukuoka: March 28
Hiroshima: April 2
Kanazawa: April 3
Kobe: April 1
Kochi: March 28
Kyoto: March 30
Nagano: April 11
Nagoya: March 30
Nara: April 1
Osaka: March 31
Sapporo: April 29
Sendai: April 7
Shimonoseki: March 29
Tokyo: March 25
Yokohama: March 29

Japan’s cherry blossoms are famously fickly flora, so it’s important to remember that this is a forecast, not a set schedule sakura adhere too. The closer we get to spring, though, the more accurate predictions become, so you might want to move any cherry blossom parties you’re planning up a bit in your social calendar.

Source: Weather Map
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Weather Map, Pakutaso
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