Popular all over the world as a part of the Japanese culture, Cherry Blossoms are a sight to behold. Also known as Sakura, cherry blossoms refer to a flower in most of the trees in the genus Prunus.
These trees are famous for their pink-colored petals but are also known for other colors such as pale pink and white. Cities with beautiful scenery provided by these trees are considered tourist attractions.
A Cherry Blossom is Japan’s national tree that can even be seen on their 100 yen coin. This is an important part of their culture, as it signifies mortality (shortness of life) and symbolizes renewal.
The “blossoming” of these trees also means that spring has come! If you live outside Japan, you might not know that it can also be seen in other countries, even outside Asia.
As you might already read, the cherry blossom is very famous in Japan. It plays a major role in their culture and tourism.
The capital city is one of the best places in the country to experience this seasonal event. Streets are covered with the trees’ bright pink petals, where people flock to have pictures and picnics in the parks. The city will hold festivals, especially in Koganei, Ueno, and Chiyoda Park.
Don’t worry about buying souvenirs with a cherry blossom theme; there will be a bountiful of them during this period.
Japan’s cherry blossom season is from late March to early April. However, it is recommended to check The Japan Weather Association’s forecast to know the best time to go.
Called “Hanami,” Kyoto is one of the best places in Japan for cherry blossom sightseeing.
The gentle slope of Keage Incline may only have about a hundred cherry blossom trees but provides a great view and a unique experience. Hit two birds with one stone by visiting famous spots for this specific season, such as Kyoto’s Daigoji Temple, Nijo Castle, and the Kyoto Botanical Garden.
If you are too tired from walking, try to avail yourself of the calming boat tours in Okazaki Canal outside of the Heian Shrine.
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There is also a cherry blossom in the US. The country’s capital state even has the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which is usually celebrated between March to April.
Some of the best sightseeing places are along National Mall, National Arboretum, and the Tidal Basin (a man-made reservoir in West Potomac Park).
To have the best experience, visit the official peak bloom. More information can be found on the National Park Service (NPS) website, which will provide the predicted date on when it will occur.
New York, USA
Not only in Washington, DC, the best sight for cherry blossoms in the US can also be found in New York. The iconic state has different locations for the best views, which doubles as a reminder that its springtime.
One of the most popular is the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Sakura Matsuri Cherry Blossom Festival. This event showcases the Japanese tearoom, entertainment, art gallery, and also a mini flea market.
Aside from this, the world-famous Central Park also has some cherry blossom trees. Most of them can be seen in the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir and 72nd Street’s Cherry Hill mid-park.
The New York Botanical Garden and Queens Botanical Garden are some of the state’s best places to experience the season’s best views.
Experience the fragrant cherry blossom in the world’s “City of Love.” Also famous for being the “City of Lights,” this European city also has this popular Japanese season.
Since the bloom of these trees is short and subject to the fluctuations of the weather, it’s important to know which way to go so you don’t miss them. Most places in Paris do not have hundreds of trees like in Japan, but it is still a must-see.
Most locals and tourists recommend visiting Jardin des Plantes, Champs De Mars (near to Eiffel Tower), and Tuileries Gardens (near The Louvre Museum). Just like in the US, the cherry blossom in Paris usually occurs from March to April.
There could also be an increase in the number of tourists during this period as the days are longer with warmer temperatures.
They may be known for the maple tree, but there are thousands of cherry blossom trees in this area. The major city of British Columbia holds the annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, which usually starts in April.
The event’s website contains the “Blossom Map,” where you can find the exact locations where you can see the famous trees. Participate in The Big Picnic, where you can enjoy an outdoor eating experience under cherry blossom trees.
For more updated information, it is recommended to visit the event’s official website.
Tagged as the “Capital of Scandinavia,” Stockholm is also one of the best places in Europe to see the cherry blossoms.
The peak season usually occurs in the middle of April, which also marks the arrival of spring. Celebrate with tourists and locals the Cherry Blossom Festival in Kungsträdgården, where over 50 trees in the area show off their full bloom.
The event also showcases the Bunraku Puppet Theater (a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage) and other traditional Japanese performances.
You may also visit Luma Park in the southeast of Stockholm, where ferry links and urban designs make it a perfect place to take Instagram-worthy pictures. Being known for this season, the local Japanese Embassy usually supports the city’s efforts in appreciating this attraction.
This German city is considered the best place for this season and the most photographed for these trees. There is an annual food and music open-air festival to celebrate the cherry blossom. Make sure to keep yourself updated before visiting by going to the city’s tourism website.
Tourists or photographers from all over the world are going to stroll in this city to take the most beautiful cherry blossom photo. The most famous place to see the cherry blossom in Bonn is Heerstrasse in the Nordstadt neighborhood. This place is also known as “Cherry Blossom Avenue.”
The sad part is that there is news that the city’s cherry blossom trees are dying, and locals are complaining due to the garbage during the season. Therefore, enjoy it while it last and always takes care of the environment when visiting.
Though it sometimes occurs in late March, April can be considered the month for cherry blossoms in London. The Royal Botanical Gardens – London’s biggest botanical garden – offers the best spots for photo ops or sightseeing. There are different varieties of tree, which a variety of colors that feels like it is arranged to create a masterpiece in the garden.
If you got the right timing, you might also find the best spot in the famous Greenwich Park. Other famous locations where these trees can be seen in St. Paul’s Cathedral, Herne Hill, and Kensington Gardens. Fortunately, cherry blossom season frequently coincides with the magnolia season. It turns some parts of the city with pink accents for a few weeks.
Jerte Valley, Spain
The Spanish people have their own local version of the popular Japanese Sakura.
This can be found in the municipality of Jerte Valley, which includes eleven villages around it. This has been used as a Roman road and a cattle pasture area over the years, where it also created a natural trail under the cherry blossom tree. Each of the different valley villages offers distinct characteristics and traditions.
Locals would recommend using a car to drive around the area and see what the village has to offer. They also have a Cherry Blossom Festival that has occurred annually since the 1970s.
The country is more known for its beautiful tulips, but this season only happens for about a week or two; that’s why it is usually overlooked. The Amsterdam Bos in Amstelveen is one of the best places to experience the cherry blossoms in the city.
They also have an annual Cherry Blossom Festival (Kersenbloesem Festival) in the same location. This one is for the books: The Japan Women’s Club donated the trees in the area, where 200 of them are named after Japanese women, and the other 200 are named after Dutch women.
Though the information is not yet fully verified, it was believed that the cherry blossom tree originated in China. Whether it is true or not, this city in southern Jiangsu province is also a fantastic place to witness the beauty of this season.
With more than 200,000 trees, it is near impossible not to get the best photo. Better yet, head on to Lake Tai (also known as Lake Taihu). Enjoy the sunrise or sunset under these lush pink flowering trees in one of the country’s largest freshwater lakes.
Like in other locations around the world, cherry blossom only lasts for up to 10 days so take advantage of it while you are in the area.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
This northern city of Thailand is also one of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Southeast Asia. The city of Chiang Mai is where you can find the Khun Chang Highland Agricultural Center, Khun Wang Royal Agricultural Research Centre, and the Ang Khang Royal Agricultural Station.
Honestly, there are not that many cherry blossom trees in these areas, but it is still a sight to see in a country with a tropical climate. The city is getting more popular with tourists, but it is recommended to join an organized tour to lessen the hassle.
Cherry blossoms in Chiang Mai can only be witnessed during colder months. See it while it last, where it is visible from late December to mid-February.
Jinhae, South Korea
One of the closest neighbors of Japan, it is not surprising to see cherry blossom trees in South Korea. They even hold the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival, considered one of the best spring festivals in the country.
Cross over the “Romance Bridge” in Yeojwacheon Stream or hop on to the seasonal train ride in the Gyeonghwa station. Either way, you’ll experience being under the beautiful and fragrant cherry blossom trees. The festival even sells unique souvenir items and Sakura-inspired foods and drinks.
If you are a tourist and unfamiliar with the area, don’t worry. There are plenty of tours offered by local companies that include transfers to and from Seoul or Busan.
The last Asian city proves that it is not the least when it comes to the impressive view of cherry blossoms. Aside from the hiking trails and hot spring baths, the national park of Yamingshan also offers a breathtaking view of the season. The Neihu district of the city holds the annual Lohas Cherry Blossom Festival, which happens in Lohas Park.
If you are visiting in February, it is more likely to see the trees in full bloom in the Tianyuan Temple in Tamsui, New Taipei. The cherry blossom season is longer in Taiwan but does not happen simultaneously in all cities. It occurs every mid-January to early April, with Taipei having the first to experience it until early March.
However, take note that it may only happen from 2 to a maximum of 3 weeks.
It is always recommended to visit each city’s official tourism website. This will help you get more accurate information when you would like to visit each city’s cherry blossom season.
As mentioned earlier, there are forecasts on when will be the tree’s peak bloom. Therefore, please take advantage of it by visiting on the stated dates.
No matter where you are in the world, the cherry blossom is celebrated to remind you of springtime and signifies the rich Japanese culture.