10 Places to See Cherry Blossoms Around the World

Witness a canopy of pale pink blooms along the Tidal Basin in the nation's capital and beyond.

U.S. News & World Report

10 Places to See Cherry Blossoms Around the World

Washington DC, USA at the tidal basin with Washington Monument in spring season.
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Discover brilliant cherry blossoms in their peak at lively festivals this spring.

Every spring, cherry blossoms erupt across the globe, drawing nature seekers far and wide to observe the stunning pale pink flowers in their prime. And each year, the Japan Meteorological Corporation predicts when the peak bloom will take place, helping spectators decide when to plan their trips. When the flowers bloom in Japan, a time-honored national viewing celebration known as hanami takes place, enticing visitors to hold picnics under the blooming branches. And beyond Japan, many cities around the world commemorate the arrival of the gorgeous cherry blossom season with vibrant festivals and traditions. Here's where to take part in the spectacle this spring.
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Buffalo, New York

Buffalo's Cherry Blossom Festival will take place this year from April 29 through May 6 at the Japanese Garden of Buffalo located in Delaware Park on Mirror Lake, behind The Buffalo History Museum. The free festival will include kid-friendly activities such as puppet shows, crafts and origami, as well as a pink parade, folk dancing, a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, music and picnicking in the garden. Other highlights include boat rides along Mirror Lake, a self-guided nature walk and jam sessions.
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Discover brilliant cherry blossoms in their peak at lively festivals this spring.

Every spring, cherry blossoms erupt across the globe, drawing nature seekers far and wide to observe the stunning pale pink flowers in their prime. And each year, the Japan Meteorological Corporation predicts when the peak bloom will take place, helping spectators decide when to plan their trips. When the flowers bloom in Japan, a time-honored national viewing celebration known as hanami takes place, enticing visitors to hold picnics under the blooming branches. And beyond Japan, many cities around the world commemorate the arrival of the gorgeous cherry blossom season with vibrant festivals and traditions. Here's where to take part in the spectacle this spring.

Buffalo, New York

Buffalo's Cherry Blossom Festival will take place this year from April 29 through May 6 at the Japanese Garden of Buffalo located in Delaware Park on Mirror Lake, behind The Buffalo History Museum. The free festival will include kid-friendly activities such as puppet shows, crafts and origami, as well as a pink parade, folk dancing, a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, music and picnicking in the garden. Other highlights include boat rides along Mirror Lake, a self-guided nature walk and jam sessions.

Jerte Valley, Spain

Just north of the province of Caceres, Spain, in a tucked-away valley filled with wineries, forges and mills, you'll find an abundance of cherry blossoms. More than 1.5 million cherry blossoms bloom for 10 to 15 days during the Jerte Valley's Cherry Blossom Festival – or La Fiesta del Cerezo en Flor. A popular option for viewing the spectacle is renting a car and meandering through the 11 scenic towns that comprise the valley. This year's festival will take place from Mar. 31 to April 8, and will feature exhibitions, live music and expert-led nature walks, among other activities.

Salem, Oregon

Formerly nicknamed Cherry City for its striking cherry blossoms, Salem's picturesque flowers in shades of pale pink and white can be best found on the grounds of the State Capitol State Park. Visitors can learn about calligraphy and origami, enjoy a traditional Japanese ceremony, view authentic kimonos at a fashion show and learn about the Japanese tradition of hanami while enjoying the blossoms.

St. Louis

In March and April, visitors to the Missouri Botanical Garden can view a wide spectrum of flowering cherry trees and other fruit trees, including plum trees and peach trees. A crowd-pleasing viewing location is the Japanese Garden, which stretches across 14 acres and offers an abundance of cherry and plum trees, blanketing the area in brilliant pink hues during the peak spring blooming season. In April, you'll also witness Kanzan flowering cherry trees, which are characterized by their elaborate and lush pink blossoms, in addition to Yoshino cherry blossoms, which are distinguished for their sweet-smelling white blossoms.

Amsterdam

Every year, Amsterdam celebrates the arrival of spring with an annual Cherry Blossom Festival. During the celebration, revelers can take part in a variety of events under a canopy of blooms, from family-friendly picnics to savoring traditional Japanese culinary creations. With cherry blossoms planted by the Japanese Women's Club as a tribute to the victims of the tsunami in 2000, today Amsterdam showcases more than 400 trees that burst into bloom each spring in Westerpark, a charming green space that's smaller than Vondelpark and Rembrandpark.

Kinosaki, Japan

Renowned as one of Japan's top destinations for onsens (or hot springs), Kinosaki sits surrounded by scenic mountains on the coast of the Sea of Japan, where cherry blossoms bloom every spring along a willow-lined river. Only a quick 2.5-hour train ride away from Kyoto, Kinosaki makes for a peaceful getaway, where you can embrace ancient Japanese culture and tradition. Kinosaki is also home to seven hot spring bathhouses, which are considered to be sacred and therapeutic. What's more, you can easily catch sight of stunning cherry blossom trees along the Otani River by day at by night, when the blooms are lit up along the base of Onsen Temple.

Vancouver, British Columbia

To celebrate the city's beautiful gifted cherry trees and the time-honored Sakura festivals of Japan, Vancouver hosts an annual Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. From Mar. 30 to April 23, visitors and locals can catch sight of 43,000 cherry trees and partake in a variety of events, from petal picnics to a spring lights illumination to musical performances and more. What's more, if you're looking for a cherry blossom-inspired meal, the Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver will celebrate the occasion with a sakura-inspired tasting menu accompanied by a Junmai sake pairing from the award-winning Artisan SakeMaker at Market by Jean-Georges, available throughout April.

Macon, Georgia

Each March, Macon transforms into a pink paradise as more than 300,000 Yoshino cherry trees burst into bloom. For 10 days, festivalgoers are treated to one of the most extravagant displays of bright, springtime colors for the annual International Cherry Blossom Festival, where free nightly concerts, a street party, amusement rides and even a cherry blossom gala takes place. In fact, the town has been dubbed by Congressional Records as the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World. This year's festival lasts from Mar. 24 to April 2.

Washington, District of Columbia

Every spring, the National Cherry Blossom Festival honors the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the nation's capital. The annual festivities pay homage to the close relationship between Japan and the U.S. During the National Cherry Blossom Festival (typically spanning four weekends from late March through early April), more than 1.5 million people attend the festival in the District of Columbia to catch elaborate performances and events, plus view the blossoms in their full glory along the Tidal Basin.

Kyoto, Japan

In Kyoto, finding prime cherry blossom viewing sites isn't difficult. From Maruyama-koen Park to the iconic Path of Philosophy to the Imperial Palace, Kyoto brims with supreme, albeit crowded, viewing locations. For an off-the-beaten-track spot, skip tourist-heavy attractions in favor of the Kiyomizu Temple, an excellent destination to observe the pink and white petals in full bloom. The Yasaka Shrine is also an ideal place to catch the beautiful cherry blossoms in their full glory. And at the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, guests can visit Shakusui-tei, a charming tea house, to experience a traditional tea ceremony overlooking the historic Ikeniwa (pond garden) where cherry blossoms abound.
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