Experience the Beauty and Wonder of Cherry Blossoms – A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Viewing Spots, Festivals, and Traditions
By Stefanie Michaels
You’ve seen those Instagram photos of stunning Cherry blossom trees blooming in various hues of white, pinks and lavender. People flock each season to see them as this symbol of renewal means the start of spring.
Not to mention that they are incredibly beautiful and delicate in nature, and seeing them in bloom can be a truly breathtaking experience.
Most famous are the Cherry blossom festivals, also known as Hanami festivals, which are held annually in Japan and other countries with cherry blossom trees.
In Japan, the season typically takes place in late March or early April, depending on each area’s weather. Exact timing can be tricky and can vary in each location.
In the US, festivals are often held in March or April as well, syncing with the blooming of the cherry blossom trees in Washington, D.C. and other cities with trees.
Here are some festivals to check out.
- The cherry blossom festival at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada: A variety of events and activities, including Hanami parties, traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, and cultural performances makes this one of the best places to experience it all. The trees at UBC are extra special because they were a gift from Japan in the 1930’s and have become a symbol of the strong friendship between the two countries.
- The cherry blossom festival in Woogang Park in Gyeongju, South Korea: This festival is held every April and attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world. The trees in Woogang Park are particularly special because they are surrounded by the ancient tombs of the Silla Kingdom, which adds a unique cultural and historical element.
- The cherry blossom festival in Jinhae, South Korea: Each April, this event is known for its stunning display blossoms along the Jinhae Gunhangje Festival Road. The trees in Jinhae boast nearby historical and cultural attractions, including the Jinhae Naval Port and the Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Road.
- The cherry blossom festival in Hirosaki Castle, Japan: Hirosaki Castle is a beautiful and historic attraction in itself, and the trees add even more beauty and charm to the experience. Held every April, it features over 2,600 cherry blossom trees in the castle grounds.
Other top viewing spots around the world include: High Park in Toronto, Canada, Tidal Basin in Washington D.C., Mount Takao in Tokyo, Japan, Jeju Island in South Korea, Gardens of the World in Berlin, Germany, Macon, Georgia, Vancouver, Canada, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Adelaide, Australia.
Did you know?
The Hanami festival is a traditional Japanese event that dates back to the 7th century. The festival is held to celebrate the beauty of cherry blossom flowers, which are seen as symbols of spring and renewal.
People gather under cherry blossom trees during Hanami to picnic, drink, and enjoy the view. The tradition was initially limited to the elite classes, but over time it became a widespread and beloved event for everyone.
Today, Hanami continues to be an essential part of Japanese culture and is celebrated every year in parks, temples, and other public spaces throughout Japan.
The first Cherry Blossom Festival in the United States was held in Macon, Georgia, in 1935. It celebrated the gift of 3,000 cherry blossom trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo, Japan, to the city of Macon.
The festival has since become an annual tradition in Macon. It serves as a celebration of the cherry trees’ blossoming and a symbol of the friendship between the United States and Japan.
It typically includes various events such as parades, performances, and food vendors and attracts thousands of visitors each year.