Cherry blossoms open early

Perhaps pushed along by the warmest February in recorded history, Japan’s famous sakura (cherry blossoms) are opening early this year. Read more here.

Blossoms along the Philosopher’s Walk in Kyoto. Photo: Sandra Simpson

Kiwi tour guide (and fluent speaker of Japanese) Robyn Laing heads up to Japan with a tour group every year, arriving on or very close to April 1. “It’s likely Tokyo will be just over full bloom, but it looks as though it will be perfect for us in beautiful Kanazawa,” she says of this year’s trip. The secret of such a tour, she says, is to schedule stops in places of varying climates. If you miss the blossoms higher up, then you’ll be likely to see them at sea level, or more northerly versus more southerly.

Japan goes slightly bonkers for the sakura season, but in the nicest possible way. Everyone is so uplifted by the mass blossoming, which is an integral part of the nation’s culture, it’s a lovely time to visit.

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