Hokkaido Cherry Blossom Season 2018

Japan's famous cherry blossoms are forecast to bloom earlier than usual this year. So when will they flower in Hokkaido?

Spring is on it's way. You can feel it. The days are growing a little warmer and the sun is out most days. This signifies Japan's iconic sakura or "cherry blossoms" are beginning to bloom.

There are a number of areas in Japan that will already have sakura in full bloom by the end of this week, with a number of places recording the earliest flowering in observation history.


Sakura in Niseko-Hirafu in spring last year.

It's expected that this year's cherry blossoms will bloom about one to 10 days earlier than normal. The earliest flowering prediction is March 16 in Kochi prefecture, with the full bloom set for March 22. The cherry blossom front moves gradually northwards across Japan from March 19.

In Hokkaido, flowering is forecast to begin at the end of April with full bloom in early May around the Japanese Golden Week holiday. It's also said that this will be three days earlier than usual.

Full bloom is predicted in Sapporo on May 4, Hakodate on May 2 and May 9 in Kutchan Town (Niseko).

Sakura Forecast2

Hokkaido sakura first bloom forecast (Sapporo at top, Muroran centre and Hakodate at bottom) via Weather Map.

Hokkaido Forecast

CitiesFirst bloomFull bloom
HakodateApril 28May 2
SapporoApril 30May 4
ObihiroMay 2May 4
AsahikawaMay 3May 5
MuroranMay 4May 9
AbashiriMay 8May 11
WakkanaiMay 11May 14
KushiroMay 13May 17

Want to see the sakura when you're here in Hokkaido?
Check out the best scenic spots to see the famous blossoms in and around Niseko.