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Tokyo's cherry blossoms forecast to start blooming on March 20

In this March 21, 2019 file photo, a Somei Yoshino cherry tree with blooming flowers is seen at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. This tree is used as a sample tree to announce the beginning of the cherry blossom blooming season in Tokyo. (Mainichi/Kimi Takeuchi)

TOKYO -- Tokyo and the southwestern prefectures of Kochi and Fukuoka can expect to see Japan's iconic Somei Yoshino cherry blossoms start blooming on March 20, according to a projection released by weather company Weathernews Inc. on Feb. 13.

Cherry blossoms in Japan are expected to start flowering this spring about the same time as an average year, except for the southern Kyushu region. The wave of the lightly pink sakura flowers is forecasted to hit western and eastern Japan by the end of March.

According to Weathernews, there were concerns that cherry blossom buds would not become round until later into the spring due to a warm winter, but thanks to cold air coming in over the past few days, the growing process should catch up. The Somei Yoshino cherries are expected to be in full bloom around the end of March in the southern Kanto region, including the Tokyo metropolitan area.

(Japanese original by Ikuko Ando, City News Department)

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