This Year’s Cherry Blossom Forecast


Yep, now that everyone’s hopes of an early spring have been crushed by the blooming plum trees getting their inevitable smothering in snow, it’s that time of year when the crystal ball gazers step in to predict the arrival of cherry blossom season.

This is serious business in Japan. All over the country, precious time off from work has already been booked for a few splendiferously pink days away, and the family is not going to be pleased if they’re paying mega-premium rates for hotels and train tix, just to see bare branches.

This year, it looks like it’ll be the conservative bettors who will be swanning around in a cloud of smug, at least in the Tokyo region. Barring any rogue polar vortexes, the buds are predicted to pop on the Monday AFTER the last weekend in March, and BEFORE the first weekend in April, thus disappointing those who were counting on global warming to deliver an early win.


You thought you’d seen the worst of it but…SURPRISE.

Read a novel set in Tokyo

A young woman dressed as a Gothic Lolita is found dead in a car with a pair of strangers. But the more Yumi Hata learns about her friend’s death, the more she’s convinced it was murder…read more