Springtime brings throngs of people to Japan on an annual basis where they can experience a fairy-tale environment created by hundreds of blooming cherry trees. Luckily, the cherry tree is also found in other parts of the world. So that means one thing for those who love cherry blossoms - it’s time to go hunting for the sweetest spot! Here are 5 places you can buy a flight ticket to and enjoy cherry blossoms.
We start with Japan anyway because the symbolism of cherry blossoms is taken quite seriously here. Every year in Spring, nature blesses Japan with these sweet pink kisses known as Sakura. The Sakura starts to bloom in Hokkaido in January, followed by blooms over Yoshino mountains and all around Kyoto from March to April. A Sakura’s full lifespan lasts only a week so it’s no wonder this flower has come to symbolise how fragile and fleeting life is! It reminds us all to be more mindful and appreciative of our time alive.
One of the most romantic places to enjoy cherry blossoms is along one of the 100 Best Pathways in Japan, found in Kyoto. Take a 2km stroll along what is known as the Philosopher’s Road for a true appreciation for these pink beauties! The road got its name by the philosopher Kitaro Nishida who used to walk this path daily. 300 cherry trees line the pathway along with quaint little cafes where you can sip a freshly brewed cup of coffee or have a good meal while enjoying the view from your seat!
Not too far away from Japan is another country who takes great pride in their array of cherry blossoms around April. For South Koreans, the cherry blossom represents purity and beauty. They hold a special yearly event in Seoul to celebrate the beauty of Spring. It’s called the Yeouido Spring Flower Festival and it happens along the reflective Hangang River. Here, visitors can stroll under 1000 cherry trees along with Azaleas, Deutzia, and Forsythias in full bloom! There are also fireworks and street performances scheduled to entertain travellers from near and far during this season.
Another great place to enjoy cherry blossoms in South Korea is at Gyeonghwa Station. It is a small railway station that was featured in the Korean film Boy Goes To Heaven (2005) and Korean drama Spring Waltz (2006). The station is no longer active, but you can walk through the tracks that are surrounded by cherry blossom trees. It's a great opportunity to take as many photos as you like.
Of course, the world’s most famous city of love would have everything lovers want on a romantic escapade. This includes beautiful cherry blossoms to frame their photographs too. Cherry blossoms in Paris start blooming around late March to early April. Some of the best spots to enjoy them are at Luxembourg Gardens, the Champ de Mars, and at Jardin des Plantes where the cherry blossom tree pays homage to its country of fame with the informal name, “Mt Fuji”.
When in Paris, do as the Parisians do - and that is to know how to take life slow and easy. A favourite pastime among locals is having tea time and coffee at a cafe. They would have chairs facing outward so they can watch the world go by. La Terrasse de Madame cafe at Luxembourg Gardens is a stylish place to settle in with a good book and a freshly baked croissant as cherry blossom petals gently fall around you in the breeze.
Cherry blossoms in Germany are equally beautiful! The city of Hamburg celebrates the country’s largest hanami (flower viewing) in May, organized by the German-Japanese society. In fact, the Japanese community here has been hosting the annual Cherry Blossom Festival known as “Kirschblütenfest Bonn” since 1968! This celebration involves fireworks, food, art, and music which all help to strengthen ties between Germany and Japan. Now you know where to find a pretty pink party the next time you pass through Hamburg in Spring!
Surprise, surprise! Those living in the mountainous and cool Himalayan states in north India also get to enjoy these beauties during their Autumn (not Spring) season which happens anytime between October to November annually. India’s largest cherry blossom festival is usually held in Shillong, Meghalaya - featuring fashion shows, live music performances, and even a beauty pageant all taking place at Polo ground and Ward's Lake! It is a true amalgamation of cultures as partner countries are invited to showcase the best of their cultures on stage as well.
Cherry blossoms are also present in certain parts of Canada, Brazil, the United States, and even the Netherlands. But of course, it's always a different experience when you get to find it in places that you least expect it to be or that are the very best places for it to be. Book your flight with us today or explore our travel packages to make the most of your cherry blossom hunting efforts!
Believes travel is more than food and shopping. Slowly becoming a history and architecture geek. Loves the outdoors but struggles to keep plants alive. Takes photographs, occasionally writes. Follow her adventures at @justsaytravel or just say hello: sarahlimwrites at gmail dot com.