Yesterday I got an email that said the following:
Hi – just saw your blog on the 2008 Cherry Blossom forecast. The map says March 25th for Tokyo. Do you have an idea if this is the peak date or the blossom date, when they first start? I was told that once they start, its 7 days until peak, and another 7 days until they are gone. I tried to plan a trip there this year and wanted to be there when it peaks. If the 25th is the first day, then they will peak around April 1 …. But maybe the 25th is the peak date? What do you think, based on the way they word it on the page?
I just thought it might be useful to answer the question here. Basically the dates that are given for the forecast are the estimated blooming date, in other words the day they are expected to start opening. And yes, once they start it is about 7 days until they are in full bloom or “100%” but this can be different for every tree. As far as how long they are in bloom, this depends a lot on the weather. If there is a hard rain or strong winds, this could drastically reduce the amount of days that the sakura (cherry blossoms) are in full bloom. The 2008 cherry blossom forecast could change (as it usually does slightly) so my best advice would be plan to arrive a couple days after the start date, stay for a few days and hope you get lucky!