The 6th Japanese Festival (Matsuri) will be held in Forrest Place in the city on 9 March.  From 11 to 6 you can enjoy a variety of amazing Japanese food, browse the stalls , join fun activities, and see unique cultural performances.  Mark it on your calendar!

On 7 February, the Japan Weather Association published the first official cherry blossom forecast for 2019.  The season is expected to start earlier than usual in most places.

Blossoms are expected in Fukuoka and Kumamoto prefectures in Kyushu around 19 March and then blossoms will gradually start opening as the season moves to the north.  Tokyo is expected to see the first flowering around 22 March and full bloom around 26 March.  Hiroshima, Kyoto, Osaka and Nagoya will have similar timing.  The northern area of Tohoku will have full blooms between mid to late April and the cherry blossom season will reach Hokkaido in early May.