The First Forecast For The 2017 Cherry Blossom Bloom Is Here

You can never be too early to start planning your cherry blossom sight-seeing adventure with the first forecast for the 2017 season.

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While right now it's pretty hard to imagine Niseko without its massive blanket of powdery winter snow, what better time to start planning your next trip to Japan than with the first forecast for the cherry blossom, or "sakura", bloom announced by the Japan Meteorological Corporation (JMC).

According to the forecast released last Wednesday the flowering and full bloom dates for Somei Yoshino (Yoshino Cherry) trees in around 1,000 cherry blossom viewing locations, from Hokkaido to Kagoshima.

The forecast estimates the start of flowering known as "kaika" is due to begin in Hokkaido in the city of Hakodate from April 30th, in Sapporo from May 4th and Muroran from May 6th.

Forecast dates for the full bloom, know as "mankai", are from May 4th in Hakodate, May 8th in Sapporo and from May 11th in Muroran.

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Cherry Blossom Flowering Forecast Map by Japan Meteorological Corporation (JMC).

For the avid cherry blossom followers, the "flowering meter" provides a measure of cherry trees' progress toward flowering and full bloom, allowing you to enjoy not only the actual flowering and full bloom of cherry blossoms but also the lead-up to the flowering.

Interestingly, flower buds are formed during the summer of the preceding year and in the more northerly regions of Japan such as Hokkaido, the buds break dormancy and enter the growth stage earlier than other areas in Japan like Fukuoka.

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Flowering Meter Map by Japan Meteorological Corporation (JMC).

So, want to see cherry blossoms in Japan this year? Then why not combine it with a spring trip to Niseko where you can enjoy cherry blossoms and other springtime activities in Hokkaido.