Tokyo At Meguro Canal

Japan loves Cherry Blossom so much, they dedicate a special Kit Kat flavor…

You’ll always need a bit of luck, but thanks to a popular app rolling out an English version, you may never miss Japan’s “sakura season” cherry tree blossom ever again. At least, if you’re really flexible that is…

People flock from around the world, flying thousands of miles and spending countless dollars just to see Japan’s beautiful, picture perfect “sakura” cherry blossoms in full bloom. While Sakura Season is a hit with visitors, it’s an obsession of locals too. There’s even special limited edition Kit Kat rolled out. Who can blame them? It’s sure hard to beat the stunning shades of pink against a clear blue sky.

a river with trees with pink flowersThe only problem: blossoms last mere weeks and adverse weather or early spring conditions can  make it very tricky to plan the perfect trip. Arrive a few days too early, you miss it. Arrive a few days too late, they’re gone, and it’s a long way to go to miss out.

Fortunately, like most things these days, there’s an app for that; making sure that you have live, up-to-date tracking of when it’s all kicking off – and not just in the most famous places, but lesser known spots slightly off the beaten path too. This is like the ultimate stalker app for cherry trees.

Sakura Navi, the app created by JMC (Japan Meteorological Corporation), a private forecasting agency, follows the blossoms’ progress in approximately 1000 spots around the country. Yes, 1000. You can see progress reports on each stage from early budding to full bloom, with animated graphics to help symbolize progress. On a 0 to 100 scale, the app takes you from bud formation to signs of leaving dormancy, to early flowering to full bloom.

Beautiful sakura cherry blossom light up and Tokyo Tower landmark at Chidorigafuchi TokyoYou can use your location services to find any worth viewing nearby, as well as notifications pinging through to your phone on any particular spots you’re interested in. It comes in Japanese, English and Chinese – so no excuses. Actually, just 2.99 excuses. The app costs $2.99 in US app stores, but for a spontaneous trip to the beauty of Sakura, $2.99 is a worthy investment.

This year popular areas like Tokyo and Kyoto will be hitting full bloom around the end of March, where as the further north you go, later into April will be better. It varies year to year depending on the winter weather and spring temperatures. Just be sure to download the app, that way you’ll likely track down some pretty blossoms no matter when in Spring you arrive.

You know there are other places to witness cherry blossom too, don’t you?

HT: Lonely Planet

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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