With spring around the corner, it means cherry blossom season is coming. Take this chance to spend some quality time with your loved ones beneath the beautiful sakura trees. While Japan and Washington, D.C. are the most famous places to enjoy cherry blossoms, it is possible to see these trademark pink flowers in other locales around the globe. Here Agoda, one of the world’s fastest growing online travel agents (OTA), shares some of the best across Asia, America and Europe to enjoy the age-old tradition of hanami, or “flower viewing” in Japanese.
1) Jinhae, Changwon, South Korea
The Jinhae Gunhangie Festival attracts roughly two million visitors a year. Historically a memorial service to commemorate Admiral Yi Sun-sin, it is now South Korea’s biggest spring festival. Enjoy the festival by taking a stroll down the picturesque Romance Bridge, where cherry blossoms canopy the Yeojwacheon Stream, and along Gyeonghwa Station where the trees line the railway track. The best time to visit is late March to April.
Conveniently located within reach of the city’s must-see destinations, M-Stay Hotel Changwon is the ideal accommodation for travelers looking to stay busy throughout their trip.
2) Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam
It’s a little-known fact that Vietnam’s Hoa Island, located east of Dien Bien Phu in the middle of Pa Khoang Lake, is a goldmine for those seeking cherry blossoms. Did you know that Vietnamese scientist Dr Tran Le wandered up and down the country for the perfect place to plant the seeds, a gift from a Japanese friend?
Stay with the family at the Hoang Anh Villa which features an outdoor pool and sun terrace for some quality hanami, or cherry blossom viewing, time.
3) Washington D.C., America
The three-week-long National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the dawn of spring while honoring both American and Japanese cultures. The 3,000 trees that can be seen here are a symbol of friendship between the two countries and were gifted by Tokyo’s then Mayor, Yukio Ozaki in 1912.
Take in the sights of a sea of stunning cherry blossom trees at the Tidal Basin, and stay at The Wink Hotel Washington D.C. Located at the heart of the city, this hotel is perfect for travelers who want to make the most of all that the lively city has to offer.
4) Edinburgh, Scotland
Pack a picnic and head to The Meadows in Edinburgh. Once you’ve laid claim to one of the benches along the tree-lined paths, you can take a breather and soak in the pink-hued scenery outdoors. Plan to spend the day outdoors by taking along a blanket and your favorite novel.
Stay at the Radisson Blu Edinburgh on the historic Royal Mile in the heart of Edinburgh. Recently renovated in 2015, the hotel is within walking distance to top tourist attractions, shopping areas and The Meadows.
5) Paris, France
Few places on earth are as romantic and picturesque as the beloved City of Lights. Every spring, neighborhoods and parks in the French capital are dotted with mesmerizing cherry blossoms. For prime viewing, take a stroll through Parc du Champ de Mars, set in the shadows of the world-renowned Eiffel Tower.
Stay in ultimate luxury at the Park Hyatt Vendome Hotel located in the heart of Paris on the prestigious Rue de la Paix. This 5-star hotel is within walking distance of the Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysees.
6) Kyoto, Japan
Finally, the most famous in Asia, take a trip to Japan to see where the practice of hanami began. While cherry blossoms can be found almost anywhere in the country, Kyoto holds one of the best walking trails, including the Philosopher’s Path; a canal lined with hundreds of sakura trees.
Newly opened in 2018, the Nest Hotel Kyoto Shijokarasuma is centrally located, providing easy access to the city’s must-see destinations. -Agoda