Today we bring to you our final sakura report for 2024 from Sapporo, the capital city of Hokkaido. The opening of the first blossoms in Sapporo were announced on April 18 - the second earliest reported opening since records have been kept - and full bloom was reported today, twelve days earlier compared to the average year. I visited three popular cherry blossom spots in central Sapporo, and observed that the cherry trees in all spots were very attractive. It should be noted that the main cherry blossoms in Sapporo are of the Ezo-Yamazakura variety, whose copper-red leaves sprout at the same time as the pinkish flowers. Rain and relatively strong winds are forecast over the next 24 hours, but I expect the newly opened blossoms to remain sturdy and endure the impending bad weather. This coming long weekend, which is the start of the Golden Week holidays, would be the best time to see the cherry blossoms and picnic under the trees.

Maruyama Park

Full Bloom

I started my day in Sapporo at Maruyama Park and Hokkaido Shrine, which together make one of the city's most popular cherry blossom spots. Over 100 cherry trees can be found in the area, and today, I found the Ezo-Yamazakura cherry blossoms to be at full bloom, while the Somei Yoshino - the typical cherry tree variety on the other main islands of Japan - were a few days behind. I expect this coming long weekend to be the best time to see the cherry blossoms at their peak.

Until May 6, food and game stalls can be found in the space between the shrine and the park.

Odori Park

Full Bloom

Next, I made my way to Odori Park, one of the main sites where the Snow Festival is held. The cherry trees I saw in the pleasant park were at full bloom, and I expect the best viewing to continue until the end of the coming long weekend.

Nakajima Park

Full Bloom

My final stop for today was Nakajima Park, which we have never visited for a cherry blossom report before. The spacious park is a few steps from either Nakajima Koen Station or Horohirabashi Station on the Namboku Subway Line. I observed the Ezo-Yamazakura cherry trees to be at their best viewing, while the Somei Yoshino cherry trees should reach their best by this weekend. Like the rest of the spots, I expect this coming long weekend to be the best time to see the cherry blossoms at their peak.

Thank you for following along with us as we chased the cherry blossoms from Kyushu to Hokkaido over the last five weeks. See you in about five months when we start our autumn color reports.