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10 Best Places to Go This Spring to See Stunning Cherry Blossoms

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Is the approach of spring fueling your wanderlust? Yeah, us too. In addition to orchid shows and gorgeous gardens, the flowering of the cherry blossoms is a wonderful way to welcome in the new season. Here’s our curated list of the 10 best places – all luxury destinations  – in the world to see the spring cherry blossoms (sakura) this year.

where are the best places to see the cherry blossoms this year?

From mid-March to mid-April each year, several locations around the world experience cherry blossom season. Cities are transformed by gorgeous cherry tree blossoms in shades from vibrant pink to snowy white.

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proper cherry blossom vocabulary

Before we go further, let’s pause for a brief glossary of terms. Sakura means “cherry blossoms.” Hanami is the act of enjoying and appreciating the beautiful blossoms; it literally translates to “looking at flowers.” In the evening, the act of viewing cherry blossoms is called yozakura, when simple lights and lanterns are laced into the tree branches so that the flowers appear to glow in the dark.

The blooms last for only a precious few days, then they drop. When near a river, the flowers poetically float away, creating sakura snow.

The 10 best luxury destinations in the world to see the spring sakura cherry blossoms this year.

For some, the sakura season and its attendant festivals are a welcome hopeful sign of spring and rebirth. For others, the blooms carry a more reflective and melancholy meaning, representing life’s fragility and ephemeral nature. Either way, hanami is a vital annual ritual that all are welcome to join.

Some of us live in cities that are blessed with wonderful botanical gardens or that are otherwise filled with cherry trees that will soon be in full bloom (we’re looking at you, Vancouver). If you’re not so situated, or if you’re just in the mood for a spring escape, here are the top 10 places in the world to see the cherry blossoms this spring.

And while the cherry blossom festivals in March have become wildly popular, we should note that an alternative to all the hoopla is visiting Japan in February, when the equally beautiful but lesser-known plum blossoms (ume) are in bloom.

the best places to see the spring cherry blossoms in luxury style

1. Tokyo

One of the most celebrated and popular cherry blossom viewing spots in Tokyo is Meguro River. It’s beautiful by day – and illuminated at night. It’s a magical, luxurious experience in a neighborhood that has upscale stores and fine dining restaurants, too, making it easy to make a festive night out of it.

the best luxury destinations to see the spring cherry blossoms and sakura
The best places to see the spring cherry blossoms this spring: the Meguro River, Tokyo.

Another popular spot in the city, and one where trees tend to bloom first, is Ueno Park, home to 1,000 cherry blossoms, as well as museums, shrines and ponds. For fewer crowds, head to the English Garden at Shinjuku Gyoen. Don’t miss the magnificent scenery along the Chidorigafuchi Moat, near the Imperial Palace. Rent a boat to row beneath the stooping boughs.

The Times of London experts also advise taking advantage of the luxury of the limited edition hanami-themed goodies available in Tokyo, such as pink Sakura Pepsi, pink Kit Kats and clear Asahi beer. We’re all in on that.

2. Kyoto, Japan

Maruyama Park is the oldest garden in Kyoto, first opened in 1886. There are approximately 800 cherry trees there. The most popular is the magnificent weeping cherry (“shidarezakura”) of Gion. It’s illuminated from dusk to midnight, as are the other cherry trees, which makes for stunning night scenery.

Maruyama Park Weeping Cherry of Gion

Mount Yishino is a terrific destination, too – it’s covered in over 30,000 cherry trees. You can also take a boat ride along the Philsopher’s Path on the Okazaki Canal, which is lined with hundreds of cherry trees.

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3. Hirosaki, Japan

The Hirosaki Sakura Festival has been held annually for the past 100 years.

The best places to see the spring cherry blossoms this spring
The best places to see the spring cherry blossoms this spring: the Hirosaki Sakura Festival. Courtesy Photo.

Possibly the prettiest spot for cherry blossom viewing in all of Japan, the ancient three-story castle here is surrounded by a fortified moat and a huge tree-lined park that hosts illuminations in the evenings.

4. Stockholm, Sweden

The Kungsträdgården (The King’s Garden) in Stockholm dates back to the Middle Ages, and since 1998, the park has been home to 63 Japanese cherry trees. The Japanese Society of Sweden holds Cherry Flower Day there each year.

the best luxury destinations to see the spring cherry blossoms and sakura
The best luxury destinations to see the spring cherry blossoms: Stockholm.

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5. Washington, DC

In 1912, the mayor of Tokyo gave the city of Washington DC the gift of 3,000 cherry trees as a symbol of friendship between Japan and the United States. Now, each year the National Park Service hosts the Cherry Blossom Festival.

The best luxury destinations to see the spring cherry blossoms: Washington, DC.

Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown is a slightly less-trafficked place to see cherry blossoms at the same time of year in the nation’s Capitol.

6. Copenhagen, Denmark

Langelinie Park is home to over 200 cherry trees. The annual Copenhagen Sakura Festival is held there on the last weekend in April each year. The event features two days of food, music and art under the blooming trees.

the best luxury destinations to see the spring cherry blossoms and sakura
The best luxury destinations to see the spring sakura cherry blossoms: Denmark.

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7. Brooklyn, New York

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden features 200 flowering cherry trees. They’re the main event at the annual Sakura Matsuri festival. The serene Japanese garden features pagodas and traditional shrines that transport visitors momentarily to another land and time.

The best luxury destinations to see the spring cherry blossoms: Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

8. Philadelphia

Philadelphia has a number of wonderful spots to view blossoming cherry trees. You’ll spot some in various places all over town, but the top destination viewing is the Shofusu Japanese House and Garden in Fairmont Park. There are also lovely vistas along Boathouse Row on the Schuylkill River.

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9. Paris

There are so many reasons to visit Paris in the springtime – including the opportunity to view the blooming cherry trees. The Shakespeare & Co bookstore is home to the oldest blooming cherry trees in Paris.

Shakespeare & Company in Paris is home to one of the loveliest groups of cherry trees in all of Paris.

The other location to be sure to see in Paris is the “pink whale.” This magnificent tree in the Jardin des Plantes holds a place in the hearts of Parisians as the last tree to flower in late April, signaling the end of the sakura season.

10. Vancouver, British Columbia

The cosmopolitan city of Vancouver is home to 40,000 cherry trees. The VanDusen Botanical Garden houses the city’s original 500 trees, which were gifts from the mayors of Kobe and Yokohama in the 1930’s. Queen Elizabeth Park and Stanley Park are also great viewing locations.

The best luxury destinations to see the spring cherry blossoms: Vancouver, British Columbia.

Among the many festive experiences to join in on are a haiku contest and a jazz concert that winds through the tree-lined paths of the city. 

the best places to see the spring cherry blossoms in luxury style

That’s it! 10 lovely destinations for an annual ritual of spring. What’s on your list? Enjoy the season.

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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier Newsletter hereAnd see luxury in a new light.

This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Pamela Thomas-Graham is the Founder & CEO of Dandelion Chandelier. A Detroit native, she has 3 Harvard degrees and has written 3 mystery novels published by Simon & Schuster. After serving as a senior corporate executive, CEO of CNBC and partner at McKinsey, she now serves on the boards of several tech companies. She loves fashion, Paris, New York, books, contemporary art, running, skiing, coffee, Corgis and violets. 

see luxury in a new light

Join our community! For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter. 

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Join our community! For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter. 

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