Updated March 10, 2022
Regardless of where you are located in the world, you’re likely to have seen a cherry blossom tree at some point in your life. Playing a large role in Japanese symbolism and cultural identity, it’s fair to say that the world has become cherry blossom obsessed. Aside from the obvious beauty, their peak bloom is incredibly fleeting, making it all the more special when you see a myriad of trees all blooming at once in pink and white.
We’ve located 11 of the best places to see cherry blossom trees bloom around the world and when to see them.
Brooklyn Botanical Garden, USA
When: Late April
New York City’s Brooklyn Botanical Garden has the largest and most diverse collection of cherry blossom trees outside of Japan. A weekend-long festival, Sakura Matsuri, takes place every year to celebrate the Sekiyama trees that line the park’s Cherry Esplanade. The best thing about the Brooklyn Botanical Garden is that it is a year-round destination. Even if you don’t catch the peak bloom, or you don’t want to limit yourself to just cherry blossoms viewings, there is plenty more to see.
Washington D.C., USA
When: The National Cherry Blossom Festival runs from mid-March to mid-April, but peak bloom is considered to be in late March.
Washington D.C. is well known for its cherry blossom tree display that arrives each spring, which is no doubt due to Japan gifting the U.S. with 3,000 trees in 1912, with many of these trees finding a home along the banks of the Washington D.C. Tidal Basin and East Potomac Park. The month-long National Cherry Blossom Festival is supported by the Japanese Embassy, with local restaurants, cafes, shops and museums getting in on the action.
My favorite spot for cherry blossom viewing in Washington, D.C. is Tidal Basin. The reflection of cherry blossoms on the water is breathtaking. Another highlight of cherry blossom viewing at Tidal Basin is the monuments you can see around the water. It is such a picturesque view and photogenic. Depending on where you stand, you will see Washington Monument, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, or Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial with the cherry blossom trees which always make photos look special.The weather in DC in the spring is very finicky, so dress appropriately. It is a bit of a gamble to see cherry blossoms for tourists in some sense because it could be warm or cold which shift the peek bloom timing. It is possible to have a freezing cold weather and snow at the end of March like it did in 2017 which damaged some of the cherry blossom buds. The climate is unpredictable. Expect to walk around a lot since finding a parking spot near the cherry blossom areas in Washington, D.C. will be a challenge during the peak season and at a popular time. You can enjoy the cherry blossoms better if you are comfortable in your clothes and shoes. – Kaho, Chuzai Living
My favorite spot is on the Tidal Basin during sunrise. This time of day, there are less people and you get to experience the beautiful blooms in a serene setting. Keep a close eye on The Cherry Blossom Watch site. The Cherry Blossoms bloom at a different time each year and peak bloom varies each season between mid-March to mid-April. – Kamana, Social and Style
Jinhae, South Korea
When: Early April
Jinhae is a four-hour bus ride from Seoul on the southeast coast of South Korea, and well worth the effort to experience the country’s largest cherry blossom festival (Gunhangjae), for which it’s famous. Not only will you get a chance to spot thousands of cherry blossom trees all in bloom at once, but you can also experience South Korean culture and food for yourself.
When: Late March to early April
The Eiffel Tower rarely looks prettier as opposed to when it’s framed with fluffy, pink cherry blossoms. Head to Champs de Mars for this iconic viewing spot, or go on a cherry blossom treasure hunt around the city. Hint: you will find more blooms on the south facade of the Notre Dame and the Petit Palais courtyard.
When: Early to late April
Every spring, around 40,000 cherry blossom trees will showcase their beauty in full bloom and the parks come alive with music, food and all-round good vibes as the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival takes off. View the 500 trees in VanDusen Botanical Garden, or head to Stanley Park and Queen Elizabeth Park if you need another Vancouver city backdrop with your blossoms.
Jerte Valley, Spain
When: The Fiesta del Cerezo en Flor is usually the last two weeks of March or the first two weeks of April.
In the spring, Jerte Valley in Spain’s Extremadura region may ook at first glance like a blanket of snow. In reality, it’s hills upon hills flowering with white cherry blossoms, creating a spectacular view of the valley. So popular is this journey that an annual festival takes place to celebrate the bloom, with markets, tasting sessions and musical performances.
When: Mid-April. Cherry Blossom Day is also mid or late-April.
The best place to see cherry blossoms in Stockholm is Kungsträdgården (The King’s Garden), where over 60 trees were planted in 1998 and now presents itself as an impressive pink canopy in peak bloom. An annual Japanese festival now takes place here in mid-April, with food and crafts set up below the trees. Plus, it’s completely free to attend!
When: Mid to late March
In Shanghai’s Gucun Park, the cherry blossom trees – 16,000 of them in over 100 varieties cover approximately 100 hectares. Visiting the park costs ¥20 (USD $3) and a photo ID, but it’s a small price to pay for a huge collection of blossom beauty. The next few years will be particularly ideal for viewing because some of the recently-planted trees have had time to mature.
When: Late April to early May
If you’ve stumbled across pictures on Pinterest or Instagram of a European street with tunnels of cherry blossoms, there’s a good chance it was taken in Bonn, Germany. In the creative quarter of the city, Altstadt, tucked away between narrow streets you will find cherry blossom trees that flourish. If you’re there during late April, you’ll also find an open-air festival with music and food.
In Berlin, I believe that the best spot is the Mauer Weg at Bornholmer Straße. It creates this stunning alley of beautiful blossoming cherry trees. Neighboring allotments add to the beauty of Spring with their gardens in bloom. If you are a dog lover this spot also makes for diverse dog watching and the open fields are perfect for walking your own dog.
Don’t put any delay on visiting the cherry blossoms, they come and go in a flash and a couple of days can make such a difference. If like me you are keen to take pictures try to go early in the day to avoid the crowds, it can get pretty busy especially on weekends. – Ashley, Wandering Wolf Child
Curitiba Botanical Garden, Brazil
Brazil blooms and their southern hemisphere location mean you could tackle two blossom viewings in one year, if you were so inclined! The Botanical Garden in Curitiba has a beautiful collection of cherry blossom trees, and although they were only planted in the 1990s, this region of Brazil has had cherry blossom trees for over 100 years when Japanese immigrated and brought cherry blossom seedlings with them.
When: From early to mid-March in the south; Tokyo is usually two weeks behind; the further north, the later peak bloom can be and sometimes will be as late as May.
Of course, we saved the best for last – Japan and the true home of cherry blossom royalty. Whether it’s by Mt Fuji, Chidorigafuchi Moat in Tokyo, the park in Hirosaki or Okazaki Canal in Kyoto, the Japanese celebrate cherry blossom trees and their representation of the transience of life and value of time all over the country. As its such a huge part of Japanese culture, witnessing sakura in Japan is a must for the bucket list.
When it’s cherry blossom season, you’ll find the trees in bloom everywhere! Our street in Tokyo was filled with sakura trees, in full bloom. But we’d have to say Ueno Park – the park has over 1000 trees, is known by the locals for its cherry blossom parties, and best of all entry is free.
Watching the cherry blossoms in bloom is a popular annual event in Japan. Thousands of people from all over Japan and the world visit during cherry blossom season to see the trees bloom. Generally from year to year, the start of the blooms is dependent on the weather and usually varies plus or minus a week. In larger cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto, the season begins in early April. We first arrived in Tokyo at the beginning on March hoping to see cherry blossoms and were very disappointed to find empty trees…so, planning in advance when to visit is key. – Wendy Awai-Dakroub, Pintsize Gourmets