Stop and Smell the Cherry Blossoms


If there’s one way you know spring is almost here (besides the sneezing and itchy eyes from your allergies) it’s the first sight of a cherry blossom! Although this season is short but sweet, these beautiful Japanese trees are one of the most anticipated signs of the beginning of warm weather and the end of the cold. Representing fragility and beauty of life in Japanese culture, there are over 600 types of cherry trees that originated in Japan but were given as gifts to countries around the world by the Japanese government. While Washington, D.C. and Japan may be considered the popular spots to visit these delicate blossoms, but we’ve made a list of 10 other destinations and when you can see their true colors to get your pretty in pink photo! 

 

Asia

Hirosaki, Japan: April 21 – May 6

If you’re traveling to Japan seeking the most authentic cherry blossom experience, the Hirosaki Festival should be at the top of your list. There are over 2,600 trees of 50 different kinds, including one called the Double Layer Cherry. But the best part of it all is the tunnel of trees illuminated at night, creating a magical glow off the moat.  

 

Jinhae, South Korea: April 1 – April 10

The largest cherry blossom festival in South Korea is called Jinhae Gunhangje, which is also known as the Navel Port Festival. A four-hour bus ride from downtown Seoul, the Romance Bridge is an absolute must-see, with a lineup of pink fluff on both sides of the bridge, surrounding the Yeojwacheon Stream. You can also try some authentic Korean street food, including cherry blossom bread and cherry flavored cake – what a better to celebrate!  

 

Jerte Valley, Spain: March 23 – April 8

Later this month, in one of the largest gardens in the world cultivated by man, is the Fiesta del Cerezo en Flor, a Cherry Blossom Festival hosted by the region of Caceres. This valley holds more than two million cherry blossom trees that are believe it or not, white as snow! A schedule packed with cultural activities and sporting events happening every day, there’s something for everyone to enjoy under this unique canopy of trees.

 

Paris, France: Late March – early April

Just when you thought Paris couldn’t get any more picturesque, cherry blossom season arrives and the city is kissed with pink. No matter where you’re staying, it’s easy to locate a canopy of trees to enjoy a nice picnic under with your special someone. They can be found scattered around the Eiffel Tower, in the central courtyard of the underrated Petit Palais and the biggest one in the Jardin des Plantes. But if you’re looking for a truly Parisian shot, head to the Notre Dame where you’ll find small park benches and a sandbox at the side.

 

 

North America

San Francisco, California: April 14 – April 22

For 51 years, the Golden City has hosted the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival that consists of food vendors, cultural performances and other festivities across two weekends. With its popular Grand Parade marching through Japantown, this event is the biggest celebration of Asian tradition on the West coast.

 

Toronto, Ontario: Mid April – early May

Right in our home city is an escape from the concrete jungle called High Park, where over 2,000 cherry blossom trees were planted back in 1959 as a gift from the Japanese ambassador. While most of the flowers on the branches are white, there are still traces of a blush pink that are sprinkled across the trees. From our experience, we recommend visiting during the day to avoid the busy crowds of Torontonians. If you have time, you should also take a walk through Bloor West Village nearby where there’s ton of restaurants and coffee shops to wrap up your visit.

 

 

Washington, D.C.: March 20 – April 15

Home of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, these flowers have put Washington on the map as one of the top two places in the world to visit around this time of year. But this gift dates back to decades ago in 1912, when the city received 3,020 trees of 12 different varieties donated by the Mayor of Tokyo. With four full weeks of activities honoring the new season, this collection of cherry trees is perfectly described as the gift that keeps on giving and will not disappoint. 

 

United Kingdom

Edinburgh, Scotland: Early-mid April

Cherry blossoms are perfect for a princess, well at least Princess Street Gardens! The Meadows walkway weaves through a public park, creating a magical path right to the staircase that leads to the infamous Edinburgh castle on the hill. But if you’re like us and want to avoid that cardio, stick to the bottom where the pink clouds of petals will make you feel like you’re in a fairytale.     

 

London, England: March – April Kew Gardens

Between Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, it’s easy to get swallowed up in the British history of the city. But hidden in Kew Gardens grow some Asian roots with the Chokushi-Mon (Gateway of the Imperial Messenger), a near-replica of Kyoto’s Gate of Nishi Hongan-ji (Western Temple of the Original Vow). The Gateway is even finely carved with flowers and animals to tell the stories of different ancient Chinese legends.

 

A good backup plan!  

Curitiba, Brazil: July

Now if you can’t seem to get away from the office to visit one of these spots at this time of year, no need to panic! Inspired by royal French gardens, the cherry blossom trees in the Botanical Garden of Curitiba don’t peak until July, so you’ve got tons of time to prepare your ultimate shot. Even though the greenhouse is considered the star of the show, you’ll still be able to get your iconic pink pics of the flowers with an elegant and luxurious background.

 

Wherever you’re traveling to see these beautiful blooms you can share your photos instantly with our Global SIM Sticker or SIM Card. Don’t forget to share them with us using #LetsRoam!

Where have you seen cherry blossoms before? Tell us in the comments below!