TOKYO: Japan's cherry blossom season is expected to arrive earlier than usual, according to a forecast by Japan Meteorological Corporation (JMC).
The weather forecasting company last Thursday (Feb 1) released its prediction of when the nation's iconic trees would begin blooming and reach full bloom.
The cherry blossoms are expected to start flowering on Mar 20 in Tokyo, six days earlier than usual, while reaching full bloom eight days later.
Kochi and Kagoshima prefectures can also expect the cherry blossoms to bloom on the same day.
Elsewhere, the cherry blossoms will start to flower on Mar 21 in Fukuoka, Mar 22 in Nagoya and Nagasaki, Mar 26 in Osaka, Mar 27 in Kyoto and Apr 10 in Sendai.
However, most residents in the Hokkaido and Kinki region can expect the flowers to bloom around the same date as last year.
According to the forecast, the flowering and full bloom dates are dependent on the temperature patterns from the previous year's autumn.
"JMC estimates the flowering and full bloom dates for each area based on low temperatures during autumn and winter, cherry tree growth status, cumulative temperatures, and past data for each area," it added.
The company's forecast covers approximately 1,000 cherry blossom viewing locations from northern Hokkaido to southern Kagoshima.