Cherry blossom, or Sakura holds a special place in Japanese culture. It’s regarded as a symbol of beauty, rebirth, and vitality. In fact, Japan is probably the only country that people tend to associate with the breathtaking pink and white blossoms that flower during springtime. Millions of tourists flock to Japan every spring to attend cherry blossom festivals, or to catch a glimpse of the delicate flowers, an experience known as hanami.
Did you know that Japan is not the only place to visit for cherry blossoms? There are countries in many continents that you can head-off to marvel at the precious pink-white petals.
Take a stroll in the Alishan Forest Recreation Area which boasts around twenty thousand cherry blossom trees, including everyone’s favourite Yoshino cherry tree. During the cherry blossom festival, the forest draws millions of tourists and local visitors prompting park authorities to limit the number of visitors to only sixteen thousand a day! If you’re unlucky and can’t get into Alishan, there are other areas in Taiwan with their own breathtaking cherry trees. Yangmingshan, Wuling, Tamsui and Sun Moon Lake are all lovely Alishan substitutes.
2. South Korea
Keep track of three outstanding cherry blossom festivals: Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon, Jinhae Gunhangje Festival, and the Yeouido Spring Flower Festival in Seoul. The Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Marathon is an annual run covering the coastal region of Gyeongju. Choose to participate in the many types of marathons offered with the most spectacular cherry blossoms in the background – a picture-perfect sight! The Gunhangje Festival in Jinhae is the largest cherry blossom festival in South Korea. Visitors are met with gorgeous art installations, carnival stalls, and even military parades featuring colourful floats. Lastly, the annual Yeouido Spring Flower Festival is said to be the best place to admire cherry blossoms in Korea. It features two thousand Korean cherry trees in full bloom. It is simply stunning at night, with colourful lights illuminating the area.
The incredible cherry blossom tunnels in the historic town of Bonn in Germany is like a page out of your wildest travel dreams. The cherry trees were first planted here in the 1980s and have become the city’s major attraction city ever since. April is the month where tourists and locals flock to the picturesque streets to catch a sight of the blooming pink flowers. Other places in Germany to catch a sight of cherry blossoms are the Chinese Garden in Stuttgart and Kirschblütenfest in Hamburg.
Visit the Cowra Japanese Garden in New South Wales, where you can find lush, blooming cherry trees. The scenic garden was built by a Ken Nakajima, a Japanese architect, as a gesture of Japan’s genuine desire to repair relations after the Second World War. The Cherry Blossom Festival in Cowra takes place in September and features cultural activities, performances, and decked-out stalls selling traditional Japanese goodies.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington D.C will be held on mid-March to mid-April. It features parades, concerts, special exhibits and incredible fireworks display! If you happen to be in the US during this period but can’t make it to Washington, here are two equally-great alternatives: the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York and the Tom McCall Waterfront Park Portland in Oregon. Discover awesome hotel, leisure, and car rental deals on tripsavr to heighten your magical cherry blossom experience in Washington DC.