Japan’s cherry blossoms are its most iconic symbol of spring, and if you’re planning a trip to the country, plenty of people will tell you that the most beautiful time to come is during sakura season.

But while we get three months of spring, the sakura themselves are only in full bloom for about a week, so thankfully Japanese weather forecasting company Nihon Kisho has just released its initial cherry blossom forecast for 2020.

In the popular imagination, the peak sakura bloom occurs in April, and the mental association is so strong that a Google image search for “April” in Japanese (4月 ) turns up a virtual blizzard of pink petals.

But if you’re hoping to see the sakura in Tokyo this year, you’ll want to get here before April even starts. Nihon Kishu’s calculations are predicting a warm early spring, and the organization says that cherry blossoms will begin to open in Tokyo on March 19, seven days earlier than average for the capital, with full bloom happening the following week, on March 27.

As a matter of fact, Nihon Kisho expects sakura season to arrive three or four days earlier than usual in just about all of Japan, with predicated dates for blossom opening and full bloom in other prefectures being:

● Kochi: March 19/March 27
● Fukuoka: March 20/March 29
● Aichi: March 21/March 30
● Hiroshima: March 22/April 1
● Kyoto: March 23/April 1
● Wakayama: March 24/April 1
● Osaka: March 25/April 1
● Kagoshima: March 25/April 5
● Ishikawa: April 1/April 7
● Miyagi: April 7/April 12
● Nagano: April 9/April 14
● Aomori: April 23/April 27
● Hokkaido: May 1/May 5

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