Here Are the Top Destinations for Cherry Blossom Season

There are cherry blossom trees all over the world, but these are the top sites for viewing the most magnificent array of flowers.

Himeji Castle in Japan with traditional architecture and cherry blossom trees below.
Himeji Castle in Hyogo, Japan Harmut Pohling/Japan Stock Photo/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Walking through a forest of cherry blossoms with flowering branches looming overhead, you look up to a sea of pastel pink. Entering a maze of cherry blossom trees is a tranquil experience, with delicate petals dancing to the ground in all directions like fallen snow. Japanese Sakura trees are the focus of many festivals around the world, when the cherry blossoms are in peak bloom in each locale. Although Sakura are abundant in Japan, there are other destinations around the world that have excellent cherry blossom viewing as well. Cherry blossoms bloom in early Spring from late March through April or even the beginning of May. These are the best spots to visit for the most magical viewing experience.

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The Top Cherry Blossom Viewing Destinations

People enjoy under a cherry blossom trees in full bloom during Hanami or cherry blossom season in Maruyama park, Kyoto prefecture, Japan.
Maruyama Park, Kyoto, Japan Richard Atrero de Guzman/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Maruyama Park in Kyoto, Japan

Maruyamacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto 605-0071, Japan

Kyoto, the former capital of Japan, features manicured gardens, palaces and temples. Adjacent to Yasaka Shrine is the public Maruyama Park, which is home to a sea of cherry blossom trees around the towering Gion weeping cherry tree that is illuminated at nightfall. When the trees are in full bloom, the park is a popular site for hanami, or gatherings for cherry blossom viewing. This is a great spot to visit when you want to see cherry blossoms and historical sites all in one place. Just outside of the park is Gion Maruyama, a Michelin-starred restaurant. Maruyama Park.

Ueno skyline buildings along Shinobazu Pond lined by cherry trees.
Ueno Park, Tokyo, Japan Dukas/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Ueno Park in Tokyo, Japan

Uenokoen, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0007, Japan

One of the most attended matsuri, or festivals, for cherry blossoms takes place at Ueno Park in Tokyo. You can spend hours boating on the lake while taking in 800 cherry trees and enjoying a picnic under a canopy of pink flowers. The trees are lit up at night with strings of hanging lanterns. Ueno Park is close to Tokyo Station for easy transportation, and its Main Street location means you can add visits to the Ueno Zoo, Kaneiji Temple and museums to your day of cherry blossom viewing. Ueno Park.

Matsumae Park in Hokkaido, Japan

Matsushiro, Matsumae, Matsumae District, Hokkaido 049-1511, Japan

Experience cherry blossom season at the Matsumae Sakura Festival from late April to mid May. The cherry blossom festival takes place in Matsumae Park, which is home to popular historic sites like Matsumae CAstle, Hogenji Temple and ruins. The park is full of over 10,000 cherry trees with 250 types of cherry blossoms. If you want something to eat, Matsumae Castle offers food during the cherry blossom festival. Matsumae Sakura Festival.

A general view of Ukimido gazebo on the water and cherry blossoms of Nara Park.
Nara Park, Nara, Japan MIXA/Getty Images

Nara Park in Nara, Japan

Nara, Japan

The flora and fauna abound at Nara Park, where over one thousand sika deer wander under Somei Yoshino cherry trees. Around 1,700 cherry blossom trees are rooted in Nara Park and give the Sagi-ike Pond a pink hue. Close to Nara Park, you’ll enjoy visiting the Great Buddha at Todaji Temple, Kofukuji Temple and Kasuga Taisha Shrine. Nara Park.

A general view of Hirosaki Castle and cherry blossoms in Aomori, Japan.
Hirosaki Castle, Aomori, Japan Richard Atrero de Guzman/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival in Aomori, Japan

Aomori, Japan

From late April to early May, Hirosaki Park has the most vast array of Kanzan, Ichiyo, Somei Yoshino and weeping cherry trees in Japan, with 2,600 cherry trees dating back to 1715. The festival sees more than 2 million attendees each year who visit to take in the picturesque view of moats lined by cherry trees that scatter their blossoms into the water below. The 17th century Hirosaki Castle is located at the park and adds a historic site to your list of activities. Hirosaki Park.

Red flowers and cherry blossom trees with Himeji Castle in the background.
Himeji Castle, Hyogo, Japan Hartmut Pohling/Japan Stock Photo/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Himeji Castle in Hyogo, Japan

68 Honmachi, Himeji, Hyogo 670-0012, Japan

Not only will you walk among a sea of sakura with plush pink blossoms at Himeji Castle, you will gasp at the stunning Himeji Castle that stands elegantly on a hilltop. The 17th century castle sits atop a tall foundation of stone and has white walls with classic Japanese architecture. Himeji Park also has a zoo, art and history museums and gardens, so you can fill your day with fun activities without leaving the park. Himeji Castle.

Blooming cherry blossoms along the Tidal Basin with the Washington Monument in the background in Washington, D.C.
Tidal Basin, Washington, DC. Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

Washington, D.C.

The United States is also home to cherry blossom forests, especially in the nation’s capital. Washington, D.C. hosts the National Cherry Blossom Festival from mid March through mid April. The event features The Nation’s Springtime Parade on Constitution Avenue, Sakura Matsuri Japanese street festival, a kite festival, live entertainment and other activities to enjoy while visitors take in views of cherry blossom trees that line the Tidal Basin with monuments in the background. National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden is seen with Cherry blossom and Sakura trees in New York, NY.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden, New York, New York Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

New York, NY

New York City has cherry blossom trees scattered throughout various green areas amidst its skyscrapers. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden has pathways dusted with pink petals that you can wander down with cherry blossom trees forming an archway overhead. Central Park also has cherry blossoms throughout its grounds, including trees facing Belvedere Castle. The sakura are also found at the New York Botanic Garden and Sakura Park. New York City.

Tourists and locals enjoying the cherry blossom trees with Van Gogh Museum, left, and Rijksmuseum in the background during spring time at the Museumplein in Amsterdam.
Cherry Blossom Trees in Amsterdam, Netherlands Paulo Amorim/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Amsterdam, Netherlands

For one week at the end of March, Amsterdam presents a Cherry Blossom Festival at the Amsterdam Forest in Bloesempark. The Amsterdam sakura were a gift from Japan in 2000 and the lush orchard sprawls across bright green grass, with open areas where visitors can sit. The Japanese festival features live performances and delicious food. Amsterdam.

People take photos of cherry blossoms in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Mert Alper Dervis/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Vancouver, British Columbia

The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival in British Columbia is extensive and breathtaking, with over 40,000 cherry blossom trees calling Vancouver home. Some cherry blossom spots in Vancouver include the VanDusen Botanical Garden, Nitobe Memorial Garden and Queen Elizabeth Park. The Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival takes place for about three weeks in the month of April and includes the Sakura Days Japan Fair at the VanDusen Botanical Garden and a group bike ride under cherry trees at John Hendry Park. Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. Here Are the Top Destinations for Cherry Blossom Season