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Cherry blossom in Stockholm, Sweden
Photograph: Shutterstock

The best places to see cherry blossom around the world

Japan is famed for its springtime cherry blossom – but at these sweet spots around the world, you can see sakura all year round

Edited by
Ella Doyle
Written by
Alyx Gorman
Alim Kheraj
Liv Kelly

One of the best things about the weather changing is watching the world bloom again. In Japan, this is a very big deal. Cherry blossom trees there (named ‘sakura’) only bloom for about two weeks in spring – between April and May in the Northern Hemisphere – and people travel from all over the world just to see them. There's even a cherry blossom forecast for sakura season. 

Sadly, however, there’s no guarantee they’ll bloom for the actual cherry blossom festival (‘hanami’), so if you’re desperate to see those pretty pink flowers, there is another way. Though they’re native to Asia, cherry blossom trees actually bloom all over the world, from Europe and North America to the Southern Hemisphere. So if you’re desperate to admire those pink blossoms (and snap them for your Instagram), you might not have to travel across half the world to do it  – and we’ve rounded up the very best spots for it, right here. 

🌸The best places to see cherry blossom in the UK 
🌿The best cities to see cherry blossoms in the USA
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Cherry blossoms around the world

Macon, USA
Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Macon, USA

In bloom March
From March 17-26, this southern city-county in Georgia blooms into a pink wonderland, with over 350,000 Yoshino cherry blossom trees bearing their fruits. But Macon doesn’t just celebrate the flowers for that little week and a half – events for the International Cherry Blossom Festival start as early as February, including a Little Mr and Miss Cherry Blossom Pageant, which is exactly what you think it is. Wesleyan Woods, Fickling Farm and downtown Macon are the best viewing spots. 
Pingba County, China

2. Pingba County, China

In bloom March-April 
Every year, Pingba Farm in China attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors for its cherry blossom season. Over 500,000 pretty flowers bloom from March to April, along with lilac, magnolias and peach blossom. And if you can’t make it there in person, it’s worth tracking down the drone footage. It literally looks like a sea of pink fluff, in the best possible way. 
Jerte Valley, Spain

3. Jerte Valley, Spain

In bloom March-April
For two weeks, sheets of cherry blossoms transform this valley in Spain into a white blossom wonderland. With well over 1 million trees, this is one of Europe’s best places to celebrate hanami, the Japanese festival of flower viewing, before heading to nearby towns in the valley for special markets, celebrations and activities.
Washington DC, USA

4. Washington DC, USA

In bloom March-April
In 1912 the Mayor of Tokyo gave Washington DC 3,020 cherry trees. The city now boasts thousands more and its three-week-long National Cherry Blossom Festival draws 1.5 million visitors. Check out the blooms at a cocktail party or a kite festival, or just stroll along the Tidal Basin or through the East Potomac Park.
Kyoto, Japan

5. Kyoto, Japan

In bloom March-April
Kyoto’s biggest hanami parties can be found in Maruyama Park, with its central large weeping cherry tree lit up at night. Meanwhile, a walk along the Philosopher's Path is like something out of Willy Wonka’s factory, with hundreds of pastel pink trees lining a canal. Later in April, a visit to gardens of Heian Shrine is absolutely essential. 
Istanbul, Turkey

6. Istanbul, Turkey

In bloom March-April
Modelled on the Japanese region of Shimonoseki, Istanbul Japanese Garden is flush with traditional flora, including huge sakura trees whose vibrant jewels later cover the ground like a blanket of candyfloss.
Paris, France

7. Paris, France

In bloom April 
Designed by King Louis XIV’s principal gardener, the Parc de Sceaux just outside Paris is home to the region’s largest number of cherry blossom trees. Settle with a picnic in two sun-dappled groves and pretend you’re in a Miss Dior ad.
New York, USA
Photograph: Quiggyt4

8. New York, USA

In bloom April
New York City is home to many pink-petalled beauties, but at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden you’ll also find Sakura Matsuri, a bustling two-day event welcoming spring. Sit under rows of pink buds while enjoying taiko drummers, samurai-sword masters, J-rock bands and Japanese tea. 
Vancouver, Canada

9. Vancouver, Canada

In bloom April 
Visit Vancouver in April and you’re practically guaranteed to see blossom – whether you’re there for the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival or just taking a stroll. Stop by spots like Queen Elizabeth Park, Stanley Park, the VanDusen Botanical Garden or even the downtown Burrard SkyTrain station to be surrounded by the stuff. 
Stockholm, Sweden
Photograph: Shutterstock

10. Stockholm, Sweden

In bloom late April
For dazzling pink flower clouds in the heart of Stockholm visit Kungsträdgården, where in late April you’ll also find an annual Cherry Blossom Festival. It can get packed with tourists, so jump on a bus to nearby Hammarby Sjöstad for the same beautiful petal canopy minus the crowds.
Sapporo, Japan

11. Sapporo, Japan

In bloom early May
Things bloom a little later in Sapporo – the capital of the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. Take it in on a traditional walk through Maruyama Park to Hokkaido Shrine, where you’ll encounter parties under the pink and white. More tranquil spots, like Nakajima Park or Moerenuma Park, are perfect for those all-important Instagram shoots.
Curitiba, Brazil

12. Curitiba, Brazil

In bloom July
For the latter half of the year, you’ll need to head to the Southern Hemisphere to get your sakura fix. A visit to the Botanical Garden of Curitiba in Brazil in summer is likely to lead to sightings of those clouds of white and pink pastels. The garden itself is resplendent, complete with a huge art nouveau glasshouse.
Hamburg, Germany

13. Hamburg, Germany

In bloom May 
As Osaka’s sister city, each year in May since 1968 Hamburg has played host to Kirschblütenfest, a Cherry Blossom Festival that includes fireworks and a plethora of cultural events. The trees themselves can mainly be found in the scenic Altonaer Balkon park or framing the Alster Lake – perfect for a pink-tinged walk.
Cowra, Australia
Photograph: John O'Neill

14. Cowra, Australia

In bloom late September-early October
In August 1944, 231 Japanese soldiers died while escaping from a POW camp in Cowra, AustraliaThe Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre – the largest Japanese garden in the Southern Hemisphere – is located near their gravesites, and during its huge Sakura Matsuri festival, the tranquil grounds are transformed into a painterly wonderland of soft pinks and whites.
Shillong, India

15. Shillong, India

In bloom October-November
Still in its infancy, the Indian International Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates Himalayan cherry trees in bloom. Although the city of Shillong is off India’s beaten travel track, an evening walk under the trees by its Ward Lake sounds rather romantic.
Branch Brook Park, Newark, USA
Photograph: Shutterstock

16. Branch Brook Park, Newark, USA

In bloom late March to early May
Last but by no means least, Branch Brook Park is home to the single biggest collection of Japanese Flowering Cherry Blossom trees in the whole of the US. Head here in the second and third week of April to catch the 5,300 trees in their peak bloom, and you’re in for a truly glowing (and endless) display of pastel pink petals.

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