Outside Of Japan: 6 Alternative Cherry Blossom Spots
One of the best things about being in Tokyo in the spring is seeing the cherry blossoms. Even on the tail end of sakura season, when the flowers become sparse, a glimpse of the blossoms falling from the trees doesn’t fail to make one’s holiday extra magical.
But does one need to fly all the way to Japan in spring to enjoy some cherry blossom sightings? Not really. Here we list some alternative sites to get your cherry blossom fix.
Yes, we actually have cherry blossoms in our backyard. Well, if you live in Benguet that is. In 2016, Benguet officials partnered with Japan’s Kochi Prefecture to bring 35 seedlings of the Sakura tree to our country. It is estimated to start blooming in three to five years, so that gives us something to look forward to in 2019.
Another place in the Philippines that hosts cherry blossoms is Palawan. In Puerto Princesa to be exact. At least 1,200 cherry blossom seedlings were planted there to give tourists another reason to enjoy the place other than for its pristine beaches nearby. Balayong Park will be the city's next tourist spot once the trees bloom. Balayong is the local term for cherry blossoms.
If you’re looking to go late March, you can go to the Jeju Cherry Blossom Festival held March 23 to 30 in Jeju Island. The island is known for its fresh seafood and volcanic landscapes but during this time, the Sakura blossoms take center stage.
If you’re already in Korea, here’s a tip: You might be able to witness their canola flower festival as well in late March to early April. The island will be covered in beautiful yellow flowers by then.
If you’re coming mid April, check out the Yeouido Flower Festival held April 6 to 13, that is famous for its celebration of 1,886 cherry trees.
Another event that’s held at the same time is the Seokchon Lake Cherry Blossom Festival.
Other places you can spot cherry blossoms include Seoul Forest, Seoul Grand Park and outside the five grand palaces: Changdeokgung Palace, Deoksugung Palace, Unhyeongung Palace, Changgyeonggung Palace and Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Travelers have been flocking to Taipei to experience the street food in the different night markets around the city. But not a lot of people know that Taipei is also home to the pink flower trees.
If you’re going to Taipei in early March, visit the Wuling Farm. It’s not as well-known as the Yangmingshan but the landscape is breathtaking. It may be hard to reach the place, but locals have dubbed it one of the best places to see in Taiwan.
If your Taipei trip is scheduled somewhere in the middle of February to the mid-March, you can still catch a glimpse of cherry blossom season in Yangmingshan National Park.
Who doesn’t love New York? Well, here’s one more reason to love it.. Brooklyn Botanic Garden will hold the Sakura Matsuri 2018 on Saturday, April 28 to Sunday, April 29, 2018.
The Sakura Matsuri will have over 60 events and performances that celebrate Japanese culture. The festival celebrates the Japanese tradition of savoring the cherry blossom season.
Just a little further up from New York, you’ll get to another place that hosts a similar event. The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival is held April 3-April 29, 2018 in Queen Elizabeth Park. There are different events such as a Haiku competition, a big picnic, concerts, and a lot more!
Check out their site for more info: http://www.vcbf.ca/
If you find yourself traveling to Germany sometime between early March to end of June, you might just be able to catch Berlin's Cherry Blossoms. You can spot some of the trees lining the Berlin Wall Trail (Berliner Mauerweg).
Cover photos by Chris Clemente