Cherry blossom season comes and goes so quickly, it almost always catches us off guard. Most of the time, we’re not in a city that has many cherry blossoms, and other times, we will miss it by a couple of weeks. If you’re traveling this spring and visiting any of these cities, keep an eye out for them to see if they are blooming! If you’re based in the US, be sure to check out the best spots to see them in the US.
AMAZING PLACES TO SEE CHERRY BLOSSOMS IN THE WORLD
When: April 23 – May 5
Cost: 510 yen ($4.75) for adults, 160 yen ($1.45) for children. Discounted rates for 10+ groups.
The cherry blossom festival started early last year because the cherries bloomed sooner than expected. At night Hirosaki Park is illuminated until 10 pm, so many people like to go for walks to see the trees lit up.
When: Late October – early November
This is the first international cherry blossom festival in the world that is celebrated in autumn. Other city locations for cherry-blossom walks are the sericulture farm (Lawsohtun), 101 Area, Seng Khasi College, Lawmali, Pine Walk Cantonment, Shillong, and the entire East Khasi Hills.
When: Late March – early April
If you’re in Paris while the cherry trees are blooming, we suggest you go for a treasure hunt! Inside the central courtyard at the Petit Palais is a hidden gem to enjoy the blooms. One of the superior locations in all of Paris is found in front of the south facade of the Notre Dame. The Square Gabriel Pierné is home to one of the most remarkable trees in France. This tiny square is often overlooked, but if you find it, you will discover what feels like a fireworks show of blooms inside!
At the Jardin des Plantes be on the look out for the Prunus Shirotae tree which means ‘snow white’. This tree also goes by the name “Mount Fuji” and is believed to be the largest tree in Paris!
When: April 29 – 30 from 10:30 – 4:00pm
Over 200 cherry trees were planted in Langelinie Park, and since 2008, a committee has organized the two-day Sakura Festival! It’s free to get in and there’s bound to be something of interest for almost everyone. Be sure to check out what’s happening on the Main Stage, Second Stage, and even the lawn. In previous years, there have been several types of martial arts demonstrations, karaoke, and even tea ceremonies!
When: April 1 – 9
There are over 2 million cherry trees in Jerte Valley, Spain, which is close to Cáceres, Extremadura. Often people say that it looks like the valley is covered in snow but really it’s flowering cherry trees! There is a festival in April to celebrate these blooms, and it starts with an opening ceremony that kicks off more than a week’s worth of activities. There are live cooking workshops, musical performances, guided tours, and even a craft market.
When: April 16 is Cherry Blossom Day
The place to see the stunning canopy of interlocking cherry trees in this city is at the Kungsträdgården (The King’s Garden) which dates back to the middle ages. Sixty-three Japanese cherry trees were planted in 1998 and peak bloom is usually mid-April.
When: Late April – early May
A Sakura garden is planted near Vilnius and has become a popular place for people to pack a picnic and enjoy the trees in bloom. For a really picturesque scene, head to the White Bridge (Baltasis Tiltas) that goes over the Neris River.
When: Late April – early May
In Bonn, Germany there is a creative quarter of the city called Altstadt where you will find narrow streets where the cherry trees create a tunnel of pink when they are in bloom. It’s one of the most beautiful tree tunnels in the world! The city celebrates these trees with an open-air festival in late April with live music and lots of food!
When: April 9 (date to be confirmed)
Amsterdam ushers in the cherry blossoms with the Japanese Sakura celebration every spring. This festival attracts people from all over who break for picnics under the flowering trees. The festival also has tents set up to enjoy traditional Japanese food and drinks.
The bus ride from Seoul to Jinhae is about four hours, but if you go, you can expect a beautiful display of pink cherry tree blossoms and lots of local Korean food and culture. Cherry blossoms, stuffed squid, and K-pop music anyone?!
When: Late March – late April
‘This is why I live here!” proclaim many Vancouverites as 40,000 cherry trees bloom across the city every spring. The VanDusen Botanical Garden houses the city’s original 500 trees that were gifted in the 1930’s by the mayors of Kobe and Yokohama. You can also spend an amazing day amongst the trees at the Queen Elizabeth Park and Stanley Park (Vancouver’s first park). Love a party? Don’t miss the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival that lasts several weeks.
When: March – April
The first Japanese cherry trees in London were planted between the Palm House and King William’s Temple in the early 1900’s. More were added in 1935. The gardens have survived a couple storms and were rebuilt after one particularly bad one. Today, if you go, you can expect to see the pink blossoms of Prunus ‘Kanzan’ and Prunus ‘Asano’ as well as the white blooms of Prunus ‘Taihaku’.
Pack a lunch and have a picnic under the blooming cherry trees in Alnwick Gardens, one of the best places to see them in Edinburgh! There are several benches along the tree-lined paths.
Pro Tip: If you miss the white cherry blossoms in the spring, be sure to come back in the fall when the Great White Cherry, Prunus ‘Tai-haku’s leaves turn bright red.
When: Mid-late March
Cost: ¥20 (3 USD) to enter. A passport or ID card is also required.
There are over 12,000 cherry trees and over 60 varieties in Gucun Park, which has the largest cherry tree collection in Shanghai. In 2016, over 100,000 people attended the festival here.
The best place to see pink cherry blossoms in the city are the Botanical Gardens (Jardim Botânico).
Cover photo by: Alex Berger Photos by: 1. Robert Pratt 3. Hadley Paul Garland 4. Alex Berger
5. Wendigo 6. Susanne Nilsson 8. jmtosses 9. Colinquelicot 10. Ryan-so 11. David Wise 12. Kew on Flicker 13. Matteo Doni 14. Alessandro Miraldi 15. Josie
Have you attended any of these festivals? Do you have any favorite spots that aren’t on here?
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