Cherry blossoms, sakura, Meguro River, Nakameguro
Photo: Jenna Neal/Unsplash

Watch now: These 360-degree cherry blossom VR videos are incredibly soothing

By
Kasey Furutani
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[Update, March 30] While the cherry blossoms are still in full bloom, it’s best we stay indoors to flatten the curve of the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak. Weather News has released a compilation video of its most popular videos so you can get a taste of each location, including Aomori Hirosaki, Tokyo’s Meguro River and Arashiyama in Kyoto. If you prefer rankings, their website has a list of the top ten sakura videos – Ueno Park took first place – and also divided videos by subject, including nighttime cherry blossom viewing and singular, giant sakura trees.

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Covid-19 coronavirus has unfortunately cancelled trips, hanami (flower viewing) parties and even two sakura festivals. It’s a major disappointment, especially to everyone who has to remain indoors and miss out on the gorgeous spring weather. Thankfully, Japanese weather channel Weather News has released 50 virtual reality videos that explore the best cherry blossom attractions throughout Japan. Released a couple years ago, these videos with 360º views are incredibly calming. Each one has a backdrop of soothing music along with the laughter and joy of the folks lucky enough to see the blossoms. The channel is all in Japanese, but if you can’t find the videos, just search for ‘Sakura VR’ on the Weather News YouTube channel. 

This year’s cherry blossoms were predicted to bud on March 16, but the majority of the trees, in Tokyo at least, remain largely barren as we write this. The cherry trees are expected to reach full bloom around March 23. In the meantime, enjoy these videos.

Here's Showa Kinen Koen in Tachikawa, out in western Tokyo. 

Unfortunately, the cherry blossom festival along the Nakameguro river got cancelled. Here's what it looked like in 2017.

Here's a relaxing river in Toyama prefecture with some Ghibli music playing in the background. Pure bliss.

Explore cherry blossom viewing spots in Tokyo and across Japan, or educate yourself on the pretty petals here.

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