Contrary to last year, the beginning of this year’s Hanami — The Cherry Blossom Season, was late. It was about one week later than the average year.

You may ask how do they decide the date, because the cherry blossom’s timing is different depending on the area, the location as well as on the variety of the cherry tree, or Sakura.

There is a cherry tree planted in the garden of each weather forecast station, and when they see five or six flowers blooming, that day is the day of the “first bloom” or “SAKURA KAIKA SENGEN” — Official Announcement of the Start of the Cherry Blossom.  When 80% of the flowers are blooming, they call it full bloom, “MANKAI”.

In Kyoto, it’s a “SOMEIYOSHINO” cherry tree (the most popular variety of cherry tree around Kyoto) that is planted on the front left side of the weather forecast station building located in the Nakagyoku district, near the Nijo Castle.

From the “first bloom” to the “full bloom”, it takes about 7 days and this full bloom lasts usually about 7 days in the Kyoto area.  But of course, this period will be shorten by any rain or wind, and can be prolonged by cold temperature after the initial blossom.