Cherry blossoms, with their ephemeral blooms, offer some of the most captivating sights on Earth. For just a few days each year, cherry trees burst to life with pink and white petals that soon dance away in the wind. Regions lucky enough to possess these marvels often celebrate the blooming season with massive festivals and feasts. There’s something uniquely beautiful about creating lifelong memories while celebrating such a fleeting event.
When it comes to cherry blossoms, Japan is the pinnacle. It is legitimately difficult to pick a location in Japan that doesn’t provide an amazing view of its legendary cherry trees, known as sakura. However, if you want to experience the blossoms in a way that no other destination can offer, visit Mount Yoshino. This already majestic mountain slowly becomes even more amazing throughout the spring as its 30,000 cherry blossoms come to life. If you visit one of the many historic temples on the mountain, you can look over a landscape of pink and white trees gracefully flowing through the area’s gentle greenery.
If you think of Canada as just an icy wonderland, you’re in for a surprise. Visit Vancouver during their world-renowned cherry blossom festival and watch the city explode with color as their 40,000 cherry blossoms bloom. Stop by Queen Elizabeth Park, Stanley Park, or the VanDusen Botanical Garden for a picnic beneath dozens of rows of different varieties of cherry trees. If you want a truly peaceful and culturally-rich experience, visit the Nitobe Memorial Garden to see Japanese cherry blossoms in a traditional setting. For those who simply can’t get enough cherry blossoms or are avoiding the city crowds, hop on a ferry to Victoria. The sea of cherry blossoms and unique architecture, especially around View Street, are a sight to behold.
The United States has quite a few incredible locales for cherry blossom viewing, but D.C. is among the best. The mayor of Tokyo gifted the area’s original trees in 1912 to support international friendship, and the capital is now home to thousands of blossoming cherry trees. Because the area has fewer trees than some cities, you only have a few days each year to see them in their full glory. Peak bloom usually happens around April 4 but can vary. Plus, thanks to the city’s National Cherry Blossom Festival, there’s plenty to experience alongside the cherry blossoms. Participate in a parade, eat some cherry-related foods, or simply relax in a park amongst the trees.
There are a million reasons why you should visit Paris, and their incredible blossoms are the cherry on top. One of the best parts of visiting the Parisian cherry blossoms is that you don’t miss out on any of the classic sights. Some of the prettiest blooms are near Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower. If you want to see cherry blossoms that will leave your jaw on the floor, visit the Jardin des Plantes. Stroll through waves of beautiful flowers and white cherry blossoms until you arrive at the pièce de résistance: one of the city’s largest cherry trees.
One of the oldest areas in Germany, Bonn is a charming city that sits on the banks of the Rhine. Tourists flock to Bonn every year to participate in live music and great food during the annual Kirschblütenfest or Cherry Blossom Festival. It’s impossible to describe the awe and majesty you can feel as you walk through the city’s tunnels of cherry blossoms. Even later in the season, the trees continue to grace the city with their beauty. As the petals fall, they fill in the grooves of the classic cobblestone streets, creating a beautifully intricate grid of blossoms.
Stockholm may not be able to compete with the quantity of cherry blossoms that other destinations have, but the city more than makes up for it with sheer quality. Right in the heart of Stockholm, you can discover dozens of gorgeous cherry trees that illuminate the city’s legendary Kungstradgarden. Plus, every year, Stockholm celebrates these beautiful trees and Japanese culture with a massive festival that is sure to impress. Stop by snack stalls and gorge yourself on traditional Swedish and Japanese foods underneath the flowing white and pink petals.
Elegant cherry blossoms pop up all over South Korea in the spring, so it can be a bit difficult to decide on a destination. If you’re willing to navigate festival crowds, the Jinhae district in Changwon City is one of the best choices. Even the area’s emblem features a cherry blossom! Visit the 13 bridges of Yeojwacheon Stream to see a light show beneath a canopy of pink and white petals. Gyeonghwa Station is another excellent site for cherry blossom viewing, thanks to the unique combination of abandoned trains and vibrant blooms. As you walk around the city, stop by one of the many food stalls for some festival staples.
You may not be able to get away for a trip in the spring, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the exquisite beauty of blooming cherry blossoms. While the rest of the trees are turning yellow and orange in the fall, the unique Himalayan cherry trees in Meghalaya begin to explode like pink and white fireworks. Since these trees are particularly unpredictable, Meghalaya’s three-day festival doesn’t always line up with peak bloom. However, if you’re willing to hang around until they bloom, you’re in for an experience unlike any other. Plus, the natural beauty of the nearby rolling hills, lush forests, and awe-inspiring national parks make it easy to wait for the cherry blossoms.
For people wanting a weekend getaway to see the cherry blossoms, Copenhagen has the perfect opportunity. Every year the city has a free two-day Sakura Festival with something for everyone. Cherry trees gently drape the paths between multiple stages in Langelinie Park, where you observe martial arts displays, sing your heart out with some karaoke, or relax with a tea ceremony. For a bit of a beautifully dark experience, visit the canopy of cherry blossoms of Bispebjerg Cemetery. Since the area can get pretty busy, try going in the early morning. Don’t miss out on the stunning architecture of nearby Grundtvig’s Church.
As winter comes to its end, the already picturesque Jerte Valley explodes with fluffy clouds of white cherry blossoms. With over a million cherry trees, this gorgeous valley is unlike any other destination on Earth. All of the white petals make the valley feel like a winter wonderland in spring, and the region celebrates the occasion with cuisine, music, and exhibitions during La Fiesta del Cerezo en Flor. Take a tour through the 11 villages and towns that make up this tucked-away, winding valley to enjoy all of the sights you can. Try some fruit picking or explore the many natural pools and streams hidden beneath the blossoms.