Where to See Cherry Blossoms Around the World to Celebrate the Arrival of Spring
All over the world the arrival of spring is celebrated in a lot of different and spectacular ways. But nature has the most beautiful way of celebrating by putting up a show for us. Spring is cherry blossom time, and with it time to come out of hibernation. Here are some of the best places where to see cherry blossoms around the world.
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Where to see cherry blossoms around the world
By Teresa from Brogan Abroad
When people think of London they tend to think about a grey rainy city, but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, it does rain and the sun doesn’t shine as often as in countries like Greece or Spain, but spring tends to be full of colour. This colour is highlighted by a variety of blooming trees such as early blooming cherry blossoms in February, magnolias in March, late blooming cherry blossom in April and wisteria in May. So there really is no shortage of a blooming season in London.
But let’s focus on the cherry blossoms here. The best places to see cherry blossoms in London are West London. The areas of Kensington and Chelsea, Notting Hill and Holland Park burst into full colour in the spring. Just get lost around the backstreet and I can guarantee you will find flowering cherry blossom trees everywhere. Other areas worth visiting for cherry blossoms are by St Paul’s Cathedral, Greenwich Park and Ravenscourt Park in Hammersmith. If you find yourself in South London, head to Herne Hill, where you can find a couple of residential streets where blooms are pretty spectacular.
London is a fantastic city in any season, but spring is certainly the best time if you love being surrounded by flowers and all sorts of blossoming trees, particularly cherry blossom.
By Sophie from Solo Sophie
If you’re looking for a gorgeous European destination in which to enjoy the cherry blossom season, you simply must head to the City of Light, AKA Paris. After all, the city is not only well known for its wide boulevards, picture perfect cafés, and wealth of famous monuments but throughout the French capital, you’ll soon discover a plethora of spaces in which to enjoy beautiful spring blossoms.
The best places to see cherry blossom in Paris include the little square in front of the bibliophile’s dream Shakespeare and Co. and in Parc Buttes Chaumont, a sprawling green space in the 19th arrondissement. Though the season for spying these flowers changes year in, year out and is entirely weather dependent, blossoms typically start during Mid March and go on through until the end of April. In order to gauge exactly when the season will be, I highly recommend hopping onto a social media channel (Instagram is my platform of choice) and searching through the geotags for Paris as people tend to post pictures of the blossoms quite literally as soon as they bloom!
Jerte Valley, Spain
By Inma from A World To Travel
The official and most up-to-date information on the state of flowering of the cherry trees in Valle del Jerte is provided by the Tourism Office of Valle del Jerte every year – so if you are interested in visiting this area to appreciate this phenomenon I recommend that you visit their website. I can tell you that it normally does not occur uniformly: thus, the lowest and warmest area of the valley blooms first and then, the flowering of the cherry trees progresses until it occurs in the highest and coldest areas of the Valley of Jerte.
The Cherry Blossom Festival of the region celebrates the almost simultaneous flowering of more than a million cherry trees that cover the terraced landscape with a white blanket. This celebration happens across different towns of the Jerte Valley (famous for its Devil Pools). And everyone knows Spanish people know how to put together a great celebration!
After those days, other spring colours will start. After losing flowers and leaves, the white of the cherry trees will give way to the green of chestnuts and oaks, heathers will bring out the violets, broom will follow with yellow and finally, the cherry trees will bring out the red of their cherries. Isn’t nature wonderful?
New York, USA
By Serena from Serena’s Lenses
It may be surprising to some but New York City is a fantastic place to see the cherry blossom in the spring. Many parks in New York City have planted cherry blossom trees and in the month of April (usually mid to late April), these beautiful flowers bloom and create a sea of pink.
The top places to see cherry blossom in New York City include Central Park, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, New York Botanic Garden and Roosevelt Island. There is an annual Cherry Blossom Festival in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden that celebrates Japanese culture with numerous activities under these sakura trees. Central Park is another popular location to see both cherry blossom and magnolias because it is easier to get to compared to the other locations and you can row a boat while enjoying the cherry blossom.
Regardless of where you go in New York City parks you will need to arrive early to avoid the crowds, especially on the weekend. I do recommend that you bring a picnic blanket and picnic under the cherry blossom trees just like the Japanese do in Japan!
San Diego, USA
By Priya from Outside Suburbia
You probably didn’t think you could find Cherry Blossoms in the US West Coast! If you are in San Diegoduring spring, you can’t miss 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 a romantic stroll through the Spanish-style buildings and gardens and for visiting the many museums.
During spring when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom it is such a pretty sight to see! The pink blooms in the serene landscape dotted with rocks and bridges is as tranquil as it gets. These little flowers know to put on a show… they are breathtaking! You can stop at the adjacent Japanese Tea house or any of the many stores around for some refreshments or you can bring a picnic to enjoy.
After that you can visit the blooming Flower Fields in the North coast. Located in Carlsbad, the colourful tecolote ranunculus puton quite a show on this patch of hilly land along with rose 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.
By Daisy from Beyond My Border
Toronto is one of the best cities to visit in Canada. With vast greenery and gorgeous waters, the modernity of the city can be enjoyed with lots of natural escapes.
One such scenic setting that shouldn’t be missed is the cherry blossoms during the peak of Spring. Between late April and early May is the best time to go cherry blossom viewing in Toronto. Depending on the weather, this sight may last between four to ten days.
The best place to do the viewing is along Grenadier Pong in High Park. High Park sits quietly by Bloor Street, bridging the buzzing Toronto city life and the peaceful Lake Ontario. Wandering the park during springtime is an absolute must. The pale pink and baby white flower buds contrast beautifully with the blue sky and green surrounding. Try to go on a weekday, when there aren’t too many people around.
By James from Travel Collecting
Osaka in Japan is one of the best places in the world to see cherry blossoms. The peak time for most blossoms is early April, though different varieties and altitude can mean there are blooms before and after this in some places. One of the top spots is Osaka-jo Castle. The traditional Japanese castle makes a wonderful backdrop for the hundreds of cherry blossoms (sakura) in front of the castle.
About 40 minutes from Osaka on the JR Kobe train line is another castle – Himeji Castle. This castle, widely considered one of the three most beautiful in the whole country, is often called “White Heron” castle, and the multi-layered white building seems to float like a bird on a pink cloud of sakura flowers in early April.
My personal favourite, however, is less famous, but well known by local Osaka people. At Shukugawa Park and River, over 1,500 cherry trees line a river and create avenues in the adjacent park. It’s stunning. This is a fun place to see the sakura because there are stalls set up selling sake, beer and snacks. They make a festive atmosphere and supply all you need for a hanami (picnic under the cherry blossoms).
By Henry and Zory from 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 Kyoto Imperial Palace, the Philosophers Path, Kameyama Park and Marayuma 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, it’s just a short bullet train ride to the surreal Japan Art Islands.
By Matilda from The Travel Sisters
Tokyo, Japan is one of the best cities in the world to see cherry blossoms (sakura). There are many places in Tokyo where you can enjoy cherry blossom viewing (hanami) which involves anything from a relaxing picnic in a park to alcohol-fuelled parties beneath the trees.
Two of the best spots for cherry blossoms include Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden and Ueno Park. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden changes a small admission fee but is a spacious and peaceful spot for a picnic during the day. Ueno Park is one of the most popular and crowded spots in Tokyo to see the cherry blossoms and has more of a party vibe with celebrations continuing into the evening.
The date when the cherry blossoms reach full bloom varies from year to year (usually late March or early April) but there are forecasts to help you plan your trip. While cherry blossom season is one of the best times to visit Tokyo, it is also one of the most popular times so book your accommodation as early as possible.
Seoul, South Korea
By Mar from Once In A Lifetime Journey
When people think of Seoul images of a buzzing metropolis with massive skyscrapers usually comes to mind. And they are partially correct. But what many people don’t know is that the capital of South Korea is actually filled with the most spectacular nature. In fact, most of South Korea is covered in hills, which makes for some of the most gorgeous hiking routes that are also safe and usually busy.
When you’re seeking out a place to look at the budding cherry blossoms in the metropolis, two places come to mind. The first and probably most popular is strolling along the expansive Yeouido Park along the Han River. Yeouido is the financial district of Seoul, like New York’s Wall Street that has some wonderful sites like the 63 Building. But in Spring the cherry blossoms bloom, making for a very romantic scene. The second place is Kyung Hee University in Dongdaemun with its epic gothic architecture, which enhances the romance once the cherry blossoms are out. Walking along the Cheonggyecheon River in the centre of Seoul is also a good option for those with little time. The cherry blossoms in Seoul usually start blooming around early April.
Jinhae, South Korea
By Jess from Unearth the Voyage
One of the best places to see cherry blossoms in the world is at the Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival in Korea. The festival has a concentration of over 300,000 cherry blossoms in the Jinhae area, making this festival one for the books!
During the festival, an estimated 2 million people make their way to Jinhae to see the beautiful blossoms. The festival happens most often at the end of March/beginning of April- but is different each year as the cherry blossoms bloom at different times every year. Make sure you check out when the festival is happening before you plan your trip.
At the festival, there are a couple of areas on the do-not-miss list. The first one is the Romance Bridge, a great place to go to admire the reflection of the cherry blossoms in the stream. The next best place to go is to Gyeonghwa Station where you can watch the train roll in and all the cherry blossoms ruffle in the wind. You should also make sure you stay after dark as the lights illuminating the cherry blossoms make them even more beautiful than during the day.
By Kylie from Our Overseas Adventures
Taipei in Taiwan is a great place to see cherry blossoms, and an earlier plus cheaper alternative to Japan! The best time to see them is from late January through to March. Our favourites were the beautiful blooms at Xiangshan Park near the base of the Elephant Mountain trail. In early February, the trees there are easily accessible and a great spot to grab a photo before you climb the hill.
We also loved the blossoms at Zhinan Temple, reached by a gondola ride on the way up to the tea plantations at Maokong. The pastel pink of the fragile flowers is a stark contrast to the lush green of the forest and tea fields – it makes for stunning photos. Cherry blossom spotting is a fun thing to do in Taipei with kids as there are plenty of them in the local playgrounds.
Out further from the city, some of the best places to see the blossoms include Yangminshan National Park, where you’ll find a stunning display of all kinds of flowers in addition to the five storeys high Wuji Tianyuan Temple, also known as the Temple of Heaven in New Taipei City.
By Amrita and Agni from Tale of 2 Backpackers
The Cherry Blossom Festival in Shillong in India is relatively new. The place has been hosting the Indian International Cherry Blossom Festival since 2016 during the month of November. The speciality of the cherry blossom in Shillong is that it is held in autumn and is touted to be the only autumn cherry blossom festival in the world.
The festival is organized by the Government of Meghalaya, who planted around 5,000 cherry trees across various locations. There is a target to plant 20,000 more trees! The Cherry Blossom festival is not only about the blossoms, but also an endeavour to celebrate the culture of the place. Rock music, traditional and folk songs and dances, indigenous sports, fashion shows, storytelling, local cuisines and much more are a part of the festival.
The places where you should be during the festival are the Wards Lake, Lady Hydari Park and Polo Ground in Shillong. These are the places where the actions take place. You can also see the flowering cherry blossom trees at Umiam Lake and Mawphlang. Though this 4-day festival takes place during the first week of November, you should head to Shillong any time during November to see the blossoms in full bloom.
Have I left out any good spots around the world where to see cherry blossoms?
Let me know in the comments!
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