Sakura viewing season will begin early across Japan this year thanks to warmer weather than usual, starting with the first cherry blossoms in bloom in the Shikoku and Kyushu regions from March 18.

Cherry blossoms will be blooming across the country as temperatures after this weekend through the beginning of April are expected to be warmer than on average, according to its national cherry blossom forecast released by the Japan Weather Association on March 14.

People in the city of Fukuoka and Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture, can start getting ready for cherry blossom viewing and parties under the trees with their favorite beverages and foods as the first blooms will likely appear on March 18.

Sakura are expected to start blooming in central Tokyo on March 21; in the city of Nagoya on March 20; in the city of Hiroshima on March 23; in Takamatsu on March 24; in the city of Osaka on March 26; in Toyama on March 30; in Niigata on April 2; in Sendai on April 3; and in Sapporo on April 30.

Since it takes about a week or 10 days for cherry blossoms to be in full bloom, the peak bloom is expected to be on March 30 in central Tokyo and Nagoya and April 2 in the city of Osaka.

The latest cherry blossom forecast--the start of blooms and in full bloom--for 92 locations across the country is updated on the official website of the association “tenk.jp” at (https://tenki.jp/sakura/expectation/).