Each spring, only a few lucky places are blessed with cherry blossoms — a short-lived but wonderful parade of pink and white flowers — drawing people from near and far to seize a glimpse of the spectacle.
|Cherry Blossoms at Imperial Palace, Tokyo (yisris)|
Your best bet for sakura viewing, or otherwise known as ‘hanami‘ in Japan, is to head towards the Imperial Palace. The palace gardens are often packed with tourists but even so, the park offers sweeping views of sakura trees — a sight that’s definitely worth braving the crowds for.
Situated near the palace lies Yasukuni Shrine, a place to honour the deaths from Japan’s war. Besides it gloom intend, Yasukuni Shrine is home to thousands of cherry blossoms in spring, rallying good vibes with its sea of flowers.
|Illuminated Sakura trees at Imperial Palace (Marufish)|
Acting as a segregation between the Imperial palace and Yasukuni shrine, Kitanomaru Park and Chidorigafuchi flaunts scenic views right in the heart of Tokyo city. Here, visitors can rent a boat and enjoy a romantic paddle down the palace moat. There’s even a sakura festival to celebrate the coming of spring. Watch as the trees illuminate by dusk, proving that sakura trees can impress both day and night.
Japan, Kyoto — Philosopher’s Path
|The Philosopher’s Path in spring, Japan (PROPablo Padierna)|
The Philosopher’s Path in northern Kyoto connects Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) with Eikando Temple and Nanzenji Temple. One of Kyoto’s best hanami spots, the Philosopher’s Path (Tetsugaku no michi) follows a canal lined by hundreds of sakura trees, that when in season, burst with colour. Starting from Ginkakuji, stroll down Philosopher’s Stone to find yourself in a collection of charming restaurants, cafes, shops and small-scale temples, all leading to Eikando Temple and Nanzenji Temple.
Korea, Seoul — Yeouido Island
|Cherry Blossom season at Yeouido Island (Wei-Te Wong)|
Stretching across 8.5 square kilometres, Yeouido Island is a key part of Seoul, homing the city’s biggest financial district, tallest skyscrapers, the National Assembly Building and a population of 30,000 people. Featuring a number of parks that typically makes a great city escape for pleasant jogs and picnics, these parks are also one of the best cherry blossom spots in Yeouido Island.
|Performance at Hangang Yeouido Spring Flower Festival (Republic of Korea)|
The annual Hangang Yeouido Spring Flower Festival marks the spectacular return of seasonal flowers, mainly the cherry blossoms. The cherry trees are embellished with coloured lights that irradiate at night, bringing a beautiful twist to the festival.
Korea, Seoul — Jinhae Gunhangje Festival
|Cherry Blossoms at Jinhae Gunhangje Festival (Sam Ng)|
Some of the finest cherry blossom exhibitions have got to be during the famous Jinhae Gunhangjae Festival in Korea. Parading thousands of cherry blossoms in spring, Jinhae-gu, a port town and naval base situated to the west of Busan, hosts the annual Gunhangjae Festival. To celebrate the bloom of cherry blossoms in spring, the festival highlights popular attractions such as Yeojwacheon Stream, Jangboksan Sculpture Park and the discontinued railway station of Gyeonghwa.
|Military parades at Jinhae Gunhangje Festival (Johnny Silvercloud)|
Visitors may wander across the famous ‘Romance Bridge‘ built over Yeojwacheon Stream, or frolic down the picturesque 800-metre railway track flanked with cherry blossoms at Gyeonghwa. Street performances, carnival stalls, lighting and military parades are also part of the fun at Jinhae Gunhangje Festival.
Taiwan, Taipei — Tian Yuan Gong
|Cherry Blossoms at Tian Yuan Gong (collinyong 2004)|
To the north of Taipei city lies Tian Yuan Gong (Tian Yuan Temple), a Taoist temple dedicated to the Jade Emperor. Standing at 5 stories tall with each floor erecting at 20 feet high, the magnificent Tian Tan structure honours various deities with shrines and statues. With every ascending floor, the views overlooking the temple grounds grow in beauty, and even more so during the cherry blossom season. Crowds from everywhere flock over during spring to marvel at its stunning surroundings.
Taiwan, Chiayi – Alishan
Alishan, or otherwise known as Mount Ali, is located in Chiayi Township, right smack in the middle of Taiwan. Starring mountain ranges that can reach up to 2,663 metres, Alishan does not only offer the best nature sceneries, but that of cherry blossoms as well.
|Cherry Blossom season at Alishan, Taiwan (bangdoll)|
Dubbed as the top cherry blossom viewing spot in Taiwan, some of the most popular areas to catch the flowers are at the National Forest Recreation Area, namely The Three Generation Trees, Zhaoping Station and Forestry Bureau Work Station. Boasting amazing views, diverse wildlife, as well as springtime cherry blossoms, Alishan makes one of Taiwan’s top must-visit destinations!
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For more cherry blossom travel activities:
>> Jinhae Gunhangje Festival Shuttle Service (Departure From Busan)
>> Gwangmyeong Cave, Simni 10 Ri Cherry Blossom Road (Wedding Road), Bundang Jeongja-dong Café Street Day Tour
>> Gwangyang Maehwa Village With Jeonju Railbike One-Day Tour
For more travel guides:
>> 4 Hidden Food Gems in Kyoto All Gastronomes Will Love
>> 6 Most Beautiful Paris Landmarks That Makes You Wish You Were Born Parisian
>> 7 Most Affordable Eats in Seoul For You to Eat Like A King Without Breaking The Bank