Where are the best cities to see cherry blossoms?

When pink clouds of cherry blossoms, or sakura (as they’re known in Japan), start blooming, that’s a sure sign that spring has officially arrived. 🌸 It’s one of those blink-and-you-miss-it natural wonders, which makes it all the more magical when you do catch a glimpse of these pastel beauties. But how can you be sure to see them at their peak? We’ve got you covered with photos of the top 10 best places to see cherry blossoms around the world.

1. Tokyo, Japan

Cherry blossom viewing season (known as Hanami in Japan) is a time for introspection. The beautiful, yet fleeting, sakura blossoms serve as a reminder of the impermanence of life. While Hanami is a time for contemplation and soul-searching, enjoying the sakura’s beauty is really the main event of this beautiful tradition. Grab your favourite journal and head to Shinjuku Gyoen Park in Tokyo to reflect under the cherry blossoms. 📖 This sprawling urban garden draws major crowds for cherry blossom season from late March to late April, so get there early if you crave some solitude. Related: Cherry Blossom Season in Japan and What We Can Learn From It

2. Paris, France

Our all-time favourite spot for early morning Eiffel Tower photo shoots year-round just so happens to be a prime spot for cherry blossoms in Paris. The wide walkways of Trocadéro serve up prime Eiffel Tower views, and come mid-March to late April, this location bursts to life with cherry blossoms—how’s that for an added bonus? Be sure to set your alarm for “Bright and Early” as these Parisian views are about as hot as French espresso. ☕

3. Washington, DC

Cherry blossom season in Washington, DC is an event… literally. The National Cherry Blossom Festival was first held in 1934 to celebrate the gorgeous Japanese cherry trees gifted to the city by Tokyo’s mayor in 1912. This year, the festivities run from March 20 through April 14. Get in on the action at the Tidal Basin, where those famous trees beautifully frame some of the capital’s most iconic monuments. 🏛 Keep an eye out for events all around the city, like the themed Cherry Blossom PUB, a pop-up featuring over-the-top details like a Palace of Versailles-inspired garden room and a ramen room. 

4. Kyoto, Japan

The serene Philosopher’s Path explodes with colour during peak Hanami season in Kyoto by early April. Walking the cherry blossom-lined canal path takes about 30 minutes, but spend some extra time visiting the small temples and shrines along the way. As is the case elsewhere, arriving early is recommended to get those sweet cherry blossom views sans crowds. ⛩

5. Amsterdam, Netherlands

Visiting Amsterdam during spring is generally reserved for a flower of a different variety, the beautiful and vibrant tulips that pop up around the city! But while you’re there basking in the tulip goodness, you can sneak in some cherry blossom viewing as well. 🌷 The more the merrier most definitely applies to flowers, so get yourself to Keukenhof Gardens between March 21 and May 19 for all the cheery colourful blooms you can handle. Arrive before 10:30 a.m. or after 4 p.m. for the lightest crowds and the best light for photos. 

6. NYC, New York

As if Central Park wasn’t already the perfect place to spend a day in New York City, it’s also one of the best places to see cherry blossoms, which typically bloom from mid-April to early May. 🗽 To see the resident Central Park beauties bloom to life, head to the west and east sides of the Reservoir, the southeast edge of the Great Lawn, Bethesda Terrace, and the southeast corner of the Great Lawn Oval. Need more ideas for a full day at the park with the little ones? Here are 10 fun things to do in Central Park with kids.

7. Vancouver & Victoria, British Columbia

As the rainy season comes to a close, Vancouver’s cherry blossom festival celebrates the floral display with an array of events. A favourite is enjoying traditional Japanese cultural activities such as tea ceremonies, ikebana (flower-arranging classes), Japanese cuisine and more at the VanDusen Botanical Garden, which celebrates Canada’s long-standing friendship with Japan. 💐 If you find yourself in the milder climate of Victoria, you’ll likely be greeted by the earliest blooms between February and May. Strolling along Moss Street and View Street framed by the beautiful pink blossoms will certainly add a pep to your springtime step. 

8. Dublin, Ireland

Footpaths covered in a blanket of cherry blossoms feel like confetti celebrating the end of a long Irish winter. St Stephen’s Green, Trinity College Dublin and the National Botanic Gardens are all popular places to view the pastel blooms. Just outside the city centre lies Herbert Park, which still feels like a secret spot to walk amongst the highest concentration of cherry blossom trees in Dublin. 🌿

9. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

The cherry blossoms feel at home among the quaint and picturesque streets of Martha’s Vineyard. The historic cottages and seaside breeze pair perfectly with a picnic under one of these trees to welcome the arrival of springtime on the east coast. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the warmer weather than with food, drink and companionship under the blossoming branches. ❤

10. Portland, Oregon

An early wake-up call for sunrise at Waterfront Park is well worth it to walk among the breathtaking display of cherry blossoms without the crowds… because they will come! One hundred cherry trees line the waterfront as you make your way towards the steel bridge, and it’s the best spot to see the trees planted in perfect, harmonious rows. It’s not the only place to experience the magic of cherry blossom season though – pay a visit to Hoyt Arboretum, Laurelhurst Park, or simply stumble across one of the many trees dotting the city as you explore the bustling streets of Portland. 🚙

The season of Japanese Hanami is about celebrating the present moment and reflecting on oneself. In the spirit of fleeting moments, be sure to capture your family, you and your partner, or your own modern headshot this spring with a Flytographer photo shoot! Our local photographers know the best spots in your hometown to get photos under these gorgeous springtime blossoms. 🌼🌸

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