Cherry blossoms are ‘on schedule’ in Japan
Few places are more beautiful to visit in April than Japan. Its famous cherry blossoms explode into bloom during the springtime, and the good news for visitors travelling at this time of year is that they’re on schedule.
Various experts across the country have reported as much, from the Japan Weather Association which published its first report on the subject two weeks ago, to app developers Weathernews who came up with software that tracks the blossoms as they open.
It’s difficult to describe how the nation regards these rock stars of the plant world, with thousands of locals turning out every day to engage in hanami, or flower watching, in their local parks.
This is such a traditional practice that the most popular spots allow people to reserve themselves a space weeks in advance. The locals usually indulge in a picnic with their friends before taking a stroll among the cherry trees.
Good reports of this year’s blooming come in spite of a very cold winter that saw Tokyo experience its worst snowfall in many years.
Because of the way the country lies, the fluorescent petals can be seen first in the Kumamoto and Nagasaki prefectures, with the blooms spreading northwards throughout the month of April.
Some avid hanami fanatics actually follow the blooms as they explode throughout the country, making sure they are always at the peak during this sacred pilgrimage.
If you’re travelling to Japan during cherry blossom season, there are a few things to bear in mind. This is high season so be sure to book travel and accommodation way in advance, particularly for Kyoto, Osaka, Tokyo and other major cities.
As always, don’t forget your travel insurance – this will cover you if anything goes wrong during your stay in Japan.