My favorite season is spring when the world comes alive after its winter slumber. I love all the flowers, but I especially love cherry blossoms. Oh, the pinks and whites of beautiful cherry blossoms in spring and the optimistic feeling they put in my soul. Although they are rumored to have originated in the Himalayas, they were spread around the world by the country of Japan, often as a symbol of pride or friendship, sometimes as a result of colonialism. They are a symbol of the ephemeral nature of life- the beauty that can exist in that which is short and fleeting. Here is a guide to the best places and times to view these lovely flowers and celebrate this time of hope and rebirth.
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Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Japan
From Purba Mazumdar at Four Blissful Feet
Spring is the best time to savour in the colourful cherry blossoms of Japan. March and April are considered the best months. This is when tourists flood in to capture the soft colorful splendor of the iconic Sakuro (Japan’s term for cherry blossoms). But the blossoms actually begin in the island of Okinawa in January, moving up north during February and reach their peak in Tokyo and Kyoto towards the end of March.
Though Shinjuku Gyoen or Arashiyama in Kyoto are the most popular destinations to view the blossoms, most tourist destinations during spring get a cover of the blossoms during some time or the other. Hence, if planning a trip to Japan during spring, it would be good to plan and match a viewing as well, to have the unique experience.
- Japan has a yearly event of “hanami” (viewing cherry blossoms) which is something like a picnic party where people gather and party under cherry blossoms.
- The cherry trees of the USA are a result of a gift from Japan in 1912, as a token of friendship.
From Yulia Safutdinova at Miss Tourist
“Almost all Japanese people everywhere in the country have one week vacation at cherry blossom blooming time (called “Golden week”) specially to enjoy their beauty. And you know how hardworking Japanese people are, so it must be worth it! On these days Japanese people come early in the morning to the Sakura park and spend the whole day with their family and friends.” To read more of Yulia’s article about her trip during “hanami’ visit.
Cherry Blossoms in Kyoto, Japan
from Henry of This Life Of Travel
Kyoto has some of the most stunning cherry blossom displays in Japan. They also get extremely crowded due to their popularity. Some of the most popular places to see cherry blossoms are the Philosophers Path, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Marayuma Park, and Kameyama Park. I do recommend seeing the sakura trees at all these popular locations, but some of best cherry blossoms that you can have to yourself are along the Takase River on Kiyamachi Street. There are some super lush cherry blossom trees with picturesque viewpoints at the crossing points on the street. Most people are headed towards the popular spots, so you’ll have the cherry blossom trees to yourself here! At night, they are illuminated, making for a wonderful experience too.
If you love nature and art, there is a great weekend trip from Kyoto at the Art Islands.
Cherry Blossoms in Osaka, Japan
From James Ian at Travel Collecting
Osaka, Japan has several great places to view cherry blossoms. One of the best is in front of Osaka-jo (Osaka Castle). The castle makes a beautiful backdrop for the hundreds of cherry trees that carpet the garden in front of it. Get there early to stake a claim for your hanami (picnic under the cherry trees). Another great option is the Osaka Mint Bureau. The gardens, which have over 300 cherry trees, are opened for the week or so of peak cherry blossom viewing (usually early April). This is another popular spot. My favorite place, however, is just outside Osaka is Shukugawa Park. This is only about 15 minutes from central Osaka on the JR train, and you will be rewarded with a river lined on both sides by cherry trees, and more forming an avenue of pink blossoms to walk down. It is stunning. This is also a fun place for a hanami, as there are dozens of stalls set up selling beer, sake and snacks.
Other Places in Asia to See Cherry Blossoms
South Korea Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms in Gyeongju, South Korea
From Marie at Be Marie Korea
Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival, Jinhae, South Korea
From Jess at Unearth The Voyage
Cherry Blossoms in India
By Pashmina, The Gone Goat
India, who would have thought that you could witness cherry blossoms in a country like India. In the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh lies in a precious valley called Sangla Valley. The place is surrounded by thick forests on one side and snow bounded peaks on the other side.
Next to the stunning Raksham village, you will find the second last village of India in the state of Himachal on the Tibetan side. We were surprised to find the blooming cherry blossoms next to the Kumru Fort. Standing at 2680 meter, the fort houses a Buddhist temple, a temple with an idol of Kamakhya Devi from Assam and a Badrinath temple from Garhwal.
The best way to travel to Kinnaur region is to rent a car to explore the Kinnaur region. The roads are not in the best condition but you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the Himalayan ranges and an insight into the Kinnauris, known to be Hindus who have strong Buddhist influences.
Spring in Morocco
Cherry blossoms in Ourika Valley
By Melissa of The Family Voyage
A great off-the-beaten-path place to view cherry blossoms is in Morocco’s picturesque Ourika Valley, just an hour from the bustling medina of Marrakech. When the blossoms come out in April, you’ll be joined by Moroccan day-trippers eager to enjoy the blooms, fresh air and a hike through the waterfalls behind the small town of Stti Fatma. As you walk the narrow paths behind the village where many souvenir and juice stands are set up, you’ll see the beautiful white cherry blossoms lining the path! Enjoy the view, along with the many other wildflowers you’ll see near Marrakech in spring. Check out our complete guide to what you should pack for your Morocco spring trip.
Where to See Cherry Blossoms in Europe
Cherry Blossoms in Prague
From Alexane, The Travelling Frenchy
Cherry Blossoms in London, England
From Roshni at The Wanderlust Within
When rosy pink pom poms finally make an appearance on the suburban streets of London we all know that Spring has arrived. From the cherry filled arches of Greenwich Park, to the pastel coloured trees leaning over the lake at St James Park, Londoners are spoilt for choice. For the best views try the Cherry Walk at Kew Gardens, an aptly named path lined with 30 white and candy floss coloured trees. Trust me, the photo opportunities are countless! For cherry chasers that don’t want to travel that far from central London, try the iconic St Paul’s Cathedral and the pastel houses of Notting Hill. Last but not least, don’t forget to head to one of the city centre parks in search of their abundant collection of blossoms, I’d recommend Holland Park, Kensington Gardens, St James Park, Regent’s Park or Greenwich Park.
Spring in Amsterdam
From Frankie at As the Bird Flies Blog
Think of springtime in Amsterdam and you think of tulips, but actually there are a lot of places you can find beautiful spring blossoms in the Dutch capital. The main area you will find the most spectacular cherry blossom is in Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Woods) a vast wooded and park area in the south of the city that is easily reached by tram or by bike, in which you can find an impressive collection of Japanese cherry blossom trees. Aside from that you will see trees boasting impressive pink and white blossom in most of the city’s parks, including Museumplein next door to the Van Gogh Museum, and also in the city’s main park Vondelpark. You should also keep your eyes open for magnolia blossom, and other spring flowers, including, yes tulips!
Cherry Blossoms in France
I was blessed to take my first trip to Paris in the springtime. We took an excellent day tour to the palace of Versailles. The gardens behind Marie Antionette’s house, Petit Trianon, are simply lovely and have a nice grove of cherry trees.
It is hard to beat a spring day having a Monte Crisco sandwich in the park of the Tuileries in Paris.
Cherry Blossoms in Germany
By Megan at Megan Starr
My favorite place in the world for cherry blossoms is right in my own, adopted backyard of Frankfurt, Germany. Literally- the cherry blossoms in the city that are my favorite line my very own street and it is such a joy when spring rolls around the corner and the sakura blossoms have emerged out of their winter hibernation. Germany has some really fabulous cities for cherry blossoms and Frankfurt may certainly not be what comes to mind when one thinks of the trees, but I think visitors will be surprised to find cherry blossoms in several hidden corners of the city. I highly recommend grabbing a delicious cup of coffee in Frankfurt and perusing the streets of the city to find some of Germany’s best cherry blossom trees.
Cherry Blossoms in Turkey
Japanese Garden in Bucharest
Cherry Blossoms in Sweden
By Alex at The Swedish Nomad
Helsingborg in Southern Sweden has a whole park full of Cherry blossom. It’s quite spectacular to see and they are usually blooming in April. The Cherry Blossom park is located in the area called “Söder”, just a short walk from Gustav Adolfs Torg.
It’s like a mini version of the gardens in Japan, but you won’t have to share the Cherry blossom with the crowds. If you go here during the day, you will have the place almost to yourself, except the occasional dog walker and tourists who walks by.
Cherry Blossoms in South America
Cherry Blossoms in El Bolsón, Argentina
From Alex Trembath, Career Gappers
The scenic mountain town of El Bolsón in Argentina is one of the best-kept secrets of the vast Patagonia region. Away from the beaten track, El Bolsón is nestled in a valley between towering Andean peaks, with sleepy streams and rivers flowing by.
September is an extra-special time to visit this hidden gem. The beginning of springtime in the southern hemisphere brings the blooming of pink cherry blossoms on the streets of El Bolsón. The vibrant colour creates a striking contrast against the white snowscape that still covers the surrounding mountains.
The town has become renowned as a hangout for the artistic community. As the climate warms in September and cherry blossoms sprout, outdoor gatherings and creative fairs are held regularly. It’s also the start of the hiking season, with a choice of trails within close vicinity of the town for all levels of ability.
You can reach El Bolsón by road in a couple of hours from San Carlos de Bariloche along the legendary Ruta 40. If you don’t have your own vehicle, there are several bus services that run every day.
Cherry Blossoms in Canada
Where to See Cherry Blossoms in Toronto, Canada
High Park in Toronto, Canada, is where I consider one of the best spots for cherry blossoms in the spring. Although the park becomes a bit crowded and touristy while the blossoms are in bloom, visiting in off hours like during the daytime, during the week, or early in the morning, can give you the chance to admire the blossomed trees without the chaos of everyone else. You can track the progress of the blossoms to make sure you don’t miss them! Read Lauren’s article for more information.
Lauren Marinigh of Twirl The Globe: Travel Blog
Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms in the United States
Washington, D.C. Cherry Blossoms
By Erin Klema | The Epicurean Traveler
White and pale pink blossoms surround the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., each spring. So, take a stroll to the Jefferson Memorial or pedal a paddle boat to see the 3,000 cherry trees Japan gifted to the United States in 1912.
You will also find cherry blossoms and fewer crowds at the National Arboretum, Foxhall Village in Georgetown, and the East Potomac Park on Hains Point. Many Potomac River cruises also offer a cherry blossom route.
When the flowers will bloom changes a bit each year, but peak bloom usually falls between late March and mid-April. Visit the Washington DC Cherry Blossom Bloom Forecast to see when they will bloom this year.
During this time, the city hosts the National Cherry Blossom Festival with a parade, a kite festival, performances, and cultural events.
You can also check out my recent One Week Visit to Washington DC.
Cherry Blossoms in San Diego
By Priya from Outside Suburbia
If you are in San Diego during spring, you can’t miss the visiting the Japanese Friendship garden in Balboa Park. Balboa Park is around 100 years old and one of our first stops anytime we are in San Diego. It is one of the largest urban parks and perfect for love strolling through the Spanish styles buildings and gardens and visiting the many museums.
When the cherry blossoms in the Japanese Garden are in full bloom it is such a pretty sight to see! The pink blooms in the serene landscape dotted with rocks and bridges. You have to see these little flowers put on a show?! They are breathtaking! You can stop at the adjacent Japanese Tea house or the many stores around for some refreshments or you can bring a picnic to enjoy.
After that you can visit the blooming The Flower Fields in the North coast. Located in Carlsbad, the colorful tecolote ranunculus put on quite a show at this patch of hilly land along with roses gardens, orchids and other spring flowers. There is even a sweet pea maze and an American Flag thanks to strategically placed patches of pansies. Best time to visit is March through April.
New York City Cherry Blossoms
Cherry Blossoms in Central Park
Central Park is one of my favorite places, especially in the spring, when everyone is so happy to get out of their little boxes and celebrate the beauty around them and the new warmer weather. The park is full of people biking, running, playing, picnicking or just basking on rocks enjoying the sun.
Brooklyn Botanical Garden Cherry Blossom Festival
To see when the blooms are starting in NYC visit the website of Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.
The Botanical Garden is full of cherry blossoms and they hold a Cherry Blossom Festival. Read about what else Brooklyn has to offer.
Where to See Cherry Blossoms in Boston, Massachusetts
The colonial streets and pretty brick houses in Boston, Massachusetts make it the perfect spot to visit to see cherry blossoms. In the middle of Boston are two public green spaces. Be sure to check out the trees in the Boston Commons are Boston Public Gardens. Read more about Boston in spring.
I will leave you with the wish that you find the kind of peace and beauty that these flowers symbolize to me where ever you are blessed enough to view them.
These are not the only great places to view the blooms. Where is the best place you have seen them?