Needless to say, Japan’s sakura or cherry blossoms are loved by the world that many people visit Japan to admire cherry blossoms. I personally think it is the best time of the year when cherry blossoms are just so beautiful and amazing. It is easy to understand why this season is one of the peak travel seasons in Japan. This page would introduce the flowering time of cherry blossoms and its variety.

 

When and how long do cherry blossoms bloom?

In Tokyo, cherry blossoms generally bloom from late March to early April and only last for a week or 2 weeks.
As the forecast shows below, they open from southern to northern area in Japan which means cherry trees start blooming when it gets warm.

Japan Weather Association announces cherry blossom forecasts every year. The first announcement is usually in January, about 2 months prior to the cherry blossom season.

In 2020, the blooming of Tokyo’s cherry blossoms is expected to begin on March 22nd and the full blooming is expected to be on March 29th.

 

Cherry Blossom Types

Japan has different cherry blossom varieties that bloom at slightly different times. Below are the main cherry blossom types you’ll see a lot in Japan.

 

Somei Yoshino (Yoshino Cherry Blossoms)

Average Full Bloom in Tokyo:Late-March to Early-April

Somei Yoshino is garden species and the most general sakura in Japan. Somei Yoshino requires about 1 week to full bloom and 1 week to fall, so we can enjoy for about 2 weeks. It has 5 petals and is single flowered. Pale pink colored petals sometimes look like white. Before all the blossoms fall, its leaves come out.

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Yama Zakura (Mountain Cherry Blossoms)

Average Full Bloom in Tokyo:Late-March to Early-April

Yama Zakura is wild species and can be seen a lot at mountains in Japan. Blooming timing varies but usually you can enjoy for about 2 weeks. Yama Zakura is single flowered and has 5 petals. Its color varies from light pink to dark pink. Leaves bloom at the same time as flowering.

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Edo Higan Zakura (Edo Higan Cherry Blossoms)

Average Full Bloom in Tokyo:Mid-March to Early-April

In Japanese, Edo Higan means the date around March 20th when the length of day and night become the same. This tells you this cherry blossom starts blooming around March 20th. You can enjoy Edo Higan Zakura for about 2 weeks. It is also single flowered and has 5 petals. Petals are smaller than other types and its color is light pink.

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Shidare Zakura (Weeping Cherry Blossoms)

Average Full Bloom in Tokyo:Mid-March to Early-April

Shidare Zakura is one of the 5 great cherry blossoms in Japan and also prefecture flower of Kyoto. You can usually enjoy beautiful weeping cherry blossoms a week before Somei Yoshino’s blooming. Shidare Zakura can be both single flowered and double flowered depending on the tree. The color varies from pink, red, to white.

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Yae Zakura (Double Cherry Blossoms)

Average Full Bloom in Tokyo:Early-April to Late-April

Yae Zakura is double flowered cherry that each flower has 10~130 petals. Flower gives us cute and gentle impression. It usually starts blooming a week after Somei Yoshino’s blooming. The color is white and pink. Flower and leaves bloom together as Yama Zakura.

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Kawazu Zakura (Kawazu Cherry Blossoms)

Average Full Bloom inTokyo:Mid February to mid March

Kawazu Zakura is a hidden gem we strongly recommend. It is an early cherry blossom originated in Shizuoka prefecture usually bloom from early February there. It is single flowered and has 5 petals. The color is darker pink comparing to Somei Yoshino Cherry and the flower lasts for a month which is very long! As it takes about 2.5 ~ 3 hours from Tokyo to Shizuoka prefecture by trains, a day trip is possible. What is more, you can also enjoy Kawazu Zakura at some spots in Tokyo from about late February.

 

Summary

Above varieties of cherry blossoms are just part of all. It is said that there are more than 600 types of sakura in Japan…! Their transient beauty positively touches the hearts of so many people. Don’t miss it!