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hawaiiantraveler Mar 14th, 2013 11:39 AM

Cherry Blossoms in Japan 2013
Unfortunately we will not be in Japan this spring for the cherry blossom season(our favorite time in Japan) but were wondering what lucky Fodorites will be in Japan during this lovely time of year and where are your travels taking you?

Reported just earlier this week by the JG site that lo and behold the <b>season</b> is starting a little earlier this year than last year but we already knew that would happen months ago here on Fodors, right?

The same earlier season should apply for those planning a fall koyo season this year in Japan as I havd predicted and am hoping for.....
Sometimes it comes down to the last minute for some to get it right ;)


Mara Mar 14th, 2013 06:14 PM

I think my timing for visiting Shikoku and sakura viewing in about two weeks may be okay.... :)

rhkkmk Mar 14th, 2013 07:32 PM

i'm concerned about the japanese beetle that is eating the buds. may cause a lack of flowers and NO koyo...

KimJapan Mar 15th, 2013 01:22 AM

Yes, it suddenly got very warm after a colder than usual winter. Compared to last year, it's predicted that the blossoms will be two weeks earlier! Unless it gets cold...

sassy_cat Mar 15th, 2013 05:53 AM

Our visit is almost a month away (we arrive April 12th) so I'm hopeful for that cold spell that KimJapan mentioned so that the blossoms aren't quite so early!

I expect we'll catch the tail end anyway if the weather cooperates and it will be a little less busy.

hawaiiantraveler Mar 15th, 2013 06:54 AM

Mara, perfect timing as usual. Where are you staying in the Iya Valley? You know I'm green with envy right?

Checking the Japan Meteorology site says Tokyo and southern Japan will get pretty warm over the next week.....

Sassy, just look for where the blossom line is when you get there and take the shinkansen to it. You'll be in full bloom before you know it.

rhk, koyo means "fall leaves". No bud or cherry blossoms involved. Read that expensive 20 yr old gateway book.The Japanese would literally eat the beetles if they were attacking the sacred cherry blossom buds. Beetle onigiri anyone?


Mara Mar 15th, 2013 08:00 AM

ht, I hope you are only pale am not staying in the Iya Valley - just a day trip on the bus -

I will go there from Kochi. I have tried to stay longer in one place and do day trips this record of 8 venues in 12 days makes me tired just thinking about it...

rhkkmk Mar 15th, 2013 11:07 AM

no flowers, no leaves, no foliage

kalihiwai2 Mar 16th, 2013 02:26 PM

We'll be in Kyushu for the first half of May. I'll post trip plan later.
I was alright in not seeing the sakura as we have been fortunate enough to have seen them before. But now after reading the forum for the past year sakura envy is setting in and I am actually considering trading the North Kyushu rail pass for a one week JR pass and looking at a 3 day whirl wind expedition, Fukuoka to Hirosaki, Hakodate or Sapporo and back
( I know air is option but long train ride on Shinkansen seems appealing as well and I'd get the ticket value for sure)
Yes its crazy and hopefully the urge will pass.

Also as a side note there are areas at higher altitudes and climates that have spectacular blossoms late with certain late season varieties. We once had a great photo op with a late blooming variety on Mt Heizan near Kyoto in mid May.

hawaiiantraveler Mar 16th, 2013 09:08 PM

kalihi, if you have a chance to see Hirosaki-jo in full blossom you will indeed have witnessed another one of the wonders in Japan. IIRC its over 4 thousand cherry trees in the castle grounds alone. We were fortunate enough to do so a few years back and if presented with another opportunity,would take it in a heartbeat. We were also in Kagoshima that trip with report here:


hawaiiantraveler Mar 16th, 2013 09:21 PM

The blossoms have now officially started to open in Tokyo in the earliest opening on record since records have been kept in 1953. One week form today is now expected to be the peak of the season in!


hawaiiantraveler Mar 20th, 2013 02:39 PM

sassy_cat, some ideas on places to visit outside of Tokyo


rhkkmk Mar 20th, 2013 03:24 PM

OMG, did you see the people on that walkway...

love417 Mar 20th, 2013 11:48 PM

I loved spring in Japan! (Spring 2011, Tokyo and Spring 2012, Kyoto)

sassy_cat Mar 21st, 2013 05:17 AM

HT, thanks for that link. I hope the late blossoming varieties might still be in bloom when we get there!

Sue_xx_yy Mar 24th, 2013 08:52 PM

I am trying to be philosophic, as nature will do what nature will do. But I think that thanks to the super early season, I'm going to be 3 to 4 days too late for blossoms in Kyoto.

And ironically, about a week too early for blossoms in Takayama.

But I might find some late blooming varieties. I was, however, so looking forward to seeing the weeping cherries.

Well, it will be what it will be. At least there will be fewer crowds. And there's bound to be something, somewhere, in a shady spot...

hawaiiantraveler Mar 25th, 2013 06:38 AM

What are your days in Kyoto? Kyoto is behind everyone this year. There are weeping cherry trees in every community. Go north if you are too late.

Mara, are you there yet? Haven't heard a peep out of you lately so I know your off to Japan and out the back door ;)


Sue_xx_yy Mar 25th, 2013 12:13 PM


Alas, Kyoto may be not as fast as other places, but it's still fast this year. Tokyo opened 12 days ahead of statistical average, a new record they say, but Kyoto still opened nine (9) days ahead of statistical average; no way the average traveler can hope to accommodate a swing that big. In Kyoto my study of the stats suggests full bloom will occur around the end of March at that rate, with blossoms likely falling in the first week of April.

Well, it's not like there won't be plenty to see and do, even without the blooms. And the mild temperatures will be welcome, even if they did jet-start the blossoms.

Mara Mar 25th, 2013 12:41 PM busy with my last minute preparations - have started to think about packing - will be on the way to the airport in 48 hours....thanks for asking. :)

hawaiiantraveler Apr 4th, 2013 11:53 AM

For those of us going to Japan this fall and Hiroshima. Here are a few rainy shots of the two most famous sites during sakura

Mara, I know your reading this....we need a live from Japan on site report ;)


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