Where To See Cherry Blossoms | China, Japan, and South Korea
Where to see cherry blossoms is a question you may end up asking yourself as spring approaches in the Northern Hemisphere. With a new season comes fresh change, and the biggest change you’ll notice in some places in Asia are the cherry blossom trees blooming. So where are the best places to view cherry blossoms, and more importantly when?
Most most people will automatically think of Japan, which is quite normal as they are quite synonymous for cheery blossoms, as they have a whole festival dedicated to them. But there are other countries in Asia where the cherry blossom tree grows and blossoms around the same time.
So why not make a bit of a holiday trekking through Asia photographing this magnificent flower. Read on as we’ll explain the best places to see cherry blossoms, along with the best time to see cherry blossoms.
When To See Cherry Blossoms
CC Image via Flickr by Yoshikazu TAKADA
Last thing you want to do is plan a holiday to a location to see something which only occurs at a set time of the year, only to be a week or two out from the event occurring, or having just missed it. So naturally you want to time things right. There are many factors which determine the timing of when the cherry blossoms will bloom, but generally speaking they tend to bloom just a little after the changing of seasons from winter to spring. Between late March to late April is considered the best time.
So that gives you around a 1 month period to see this beautiful tree. However since there are quite a lot of factors which determine the speed of blooming like the warmth of the coming spring and the winds, altitude (higher, later in the year), and the strain of the cherry blossom, those dates are an estimate and can change slightly every year.
Where To See Cherry Blossoms in Japan
CC Image via Flickr by mehmet canli
The country which is most synonymous, and probably one of the best places where to see cherry blossoms. In Japan there is a festival called the Cherry Blossom festival, or Hanami (flower viewing). While Hanami is a chance to view the beautiful petals of the cherry tree, it also represents a change, or a reawakening of the world from the cold winter. It is also a sign of love and hope.
One of the best spots that we recommend to view the cherry blossoms when they are in full bloom is Ueno Park. However due to the sheer beauty of the trees, and it’s location in Tokyo, Ueno Park is one of the most popular locations, so expect crowds.
For the best views of the cherry tree and a romantic touch, try viewing during sunset where the golden glows from the sun will make the experience quite magical. Other areas of Tokyo to visit are the National Park of Shinjuku Gyoen, Shinto Shrine Yushima Tenjin, and Mount Takao.
The former capital of Japan. Kyoto is full of history and charm, with plenty of temples around the city which allow you to become fully immersed in the experience of being in a different culture. One of the best things about viewing the cherry blossoms in a city such Kyoto which has so much heritage is that really does create an interesting contrast between the new and beautiful flowers, and the old and traditional Japan. Best spots to check out are the Kiyomizudera Temple and Maruyama Park.
What better way to experience the cherry blossoms then to immerse yourself and become surrounded by over 5000 beautiful pink cherry blossom trees in Kema Sakuranomiya Park. Due to the sheer volume of trees on hand, Osaka could be the best city to view this amazing change of seasons.
Bring about the new season with somebody you love in this whimsical time of year which represents love and hope. Do you agree that Osaka is one of the best spots on where to see cherry blossoms?
Hiroshima will forever be known by the scars of the past. The rebuild of Hiroshima is quite astounding, and for this reason Hiroshima is the perfect symbol of the cherry blossom of leaving behind the old and starting a new.
A fresh beginning, and with this in mind the cherry trees seem to be extra vibrant in Hiroshima, especially around Hiroshima Castle and the historic garden of Shukkei-en
Due to Fukuoka’s location which is quite close to the coast, and very close to Seoul, the cherry tress tend to bloom in this location a little sooner than other parts of Japan. Katsumaya Park and Fukouka Castle are recommended spots to view the cherry trees in all their beauty.
Where To See Cherry Blossoms in China
CC Image via Flickr by 朱華龍 – Zhu Hua Long
Surprisingly the cherry blossom tree isn’t solely based in Japan, with the tree scattered through out Asia, with China and South Korea being the 2 other best spots to view cherry blossoms in Asia.
Closely located near the CCTV Tower and the China Millennium Monument is Yuyuantan Park, home to more than 2000 cherry blossom trees of over 20 different species. Due to the large amount of different cherry blossom species, Yuyuantan Park is thriving with colour and varying different shades of pink which traverse from an almost white hue to a dark blood pink.
While Shanghai may be limited for space for parks in this sprawling metropolis, the park space has been put aside is being used very wisely. Gucun Park in Shanghai is the largest cherry tree park in Shanghai which features over 12,000 cherry trees in the parklands, the trees cover a huge, but yet beautiful space of 73 hectares.
Other areas of the city to check out are Century Avenue and Qinghai Road which are reminiscent of Tokyo City.
Wuxi is known for 2 main reasons, a giant bronze statue of Buddha, and the second are it’s parks and pavilions. Wuxi is a gorgeous city in it’s own right, but when the cherry blossoms bloom the city really becomes alive. The whitish and dark pink species both litter the parks of Wuxi creating some amazing photographic opportunities. Best to view near the Changchun Bridge and Turtle Head Isle.
Prince Bay Park is the spot that you want to be. Before the park was renovated in 2009 there used to be an entrance fee to the park, which is very common for the better parks in China, with the money going towards maintenance. Since the renovation the park is surprisingly now free to the public, now making it one of the best spots to view cherry blossoms in China.
Where To See Cherry Blossoms in South Korea
CC image via Flickr by Jeon Han / Republic of Korea / Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism / Korea.net
CC Image via Flickr by Kim Daram
1. Jeju Island
The traditional location where the first South Korean cherry trees blossoms. Die hard enthusiasts who want to view the first flowers of the new year bloom head to this picturesque island off the south coast of South Korea. Since it is the traditional home to the Koreans for where the cherry trees blossom, and you are planning to make the trip beware that it may be a little busy and pricey during the March period.
See the latest accommodation prices for Jeju Island.
Yeongdeungpo Yeouido Spring Flower Festival or the Yeouido Cherry Blossom Festival is located in Seoul, with it being perhaps Korea’s most famous festival to the flower. The parks and streets in Seoul look as if they have been covered in a fresh layer of snow, which creates an otherworldly feel to the location.
Yeouido’s highlight is a 5.7km stretch lined with over 1,600 trees. Other honorable mentions for Seoul include the Gyengbokgung Palace which was constructed in 1395. A picturesque location which captures Korean culture at its finest.
Cherry blossoms and traditional temples seem to go hand in hand, just as well as salt and pepper. This tried and tested combination is at work in Gyeongju where the juxtaposition between the old and new is at its finest. If you happen to have a bit of extra energy to burn while visiting there is a marathon which is staged which takes full advantage of the cherry blossoms.
The course is interwoven amongst the trees as they line the path creating a beautiful backdrop. The marathon is 42 km, so bring along a good pair running shoes.
Have you viewed cherry blossoms, and if so what did you think of them? Are there any locations which should have been included on the list but we missed? Please let us know in the comments section below on your thoughts on where best to see cherry blossoms.
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Cover Image is a CC Image via Flickr by mehmet canli, edited by – They Get Around