10 of the World's Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots

A field of cherry blossom trees in full pink color on a green grassy field at Stanley Park, Vancouver under a clear blue sky
Rows of cherry blossom trees are planted at the Japanese Canadian War Memorial in Vancouver’s Stanley Park.

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The tradition of “hanami,” the enjoyment of the beauty of flowers, particularly cherry blossoms (or sakura), originated in Japan. Thousands of Prunus serrulata and its cultivars burst into blushing pink or white blooms around the world for a brief period of time each year.

Most varieties of cherry blossom are specially cultivated not to produce fruit, making their primary objective to delight and inspire with their beauty.

Here are 10 of the world's best spots for viewing cherry blossoms.

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Kyoto, Japan

Cherry blossom trees in bloom on the banks of a small canal with a boat moving through the water

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Kyoto, Japan has an abundance of locations that burst with color when the cherry blossoms flower. Philosopher’s Path, a more than one mile long walking trail along a narrow canal is lined with cherry blossom trees. Kyoto is also home to one of the most magnificent cherry blossom trees: the Weeping Cherry of Gion, a nearly 40 foot specimen in Maruyama Park. 

Japan’s cherry blossom season is carefully tracked by the Japanese Meteorological Agency. The trees in Kyoto typically bloom from late March through mid-April.

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Washington, D.C.

Cherry blossom trees in full bloom along the water with the Washington Monument in the distance under a blue sky

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Thanks to a gift of 3,000 trees from the mayor of Tokyo in 1912, Washington D.C. bursts with color every spring. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is held annually to celebrate this wonderful offering. The trees typically bloom from mid-March through mid-April.

Yoshino cherry trees line the Tidal Basin, and several cherry species, including the Okame, Takesimensis, Kwanzan, Japanese Weeping Cherry, and Sargent, surround the Hains Point Loop along the Potomac River and the Washington Channel.

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Jerte Valley, Spain

White cherry blossom trees blooming in a terraced garden carved into the mountains in Jerte Valley

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In March, the mountains in the northern Extremadura region of Spain look like they’re blanketed with snow. This phenomenon is actually two million cherry trees bursting into bloom. Unlike most of the cherry blossom viewing spots in the world, the trees here are cultivated and the fruit harvested later in the summer.

Remaining faithful to traditional customs, the cherry blossom trees are grown in terraces carved out of the mountains. The trees are harvested by hand and produce what are reported to be some of the best cherries in Europe.

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Newark, New Jersey

A group of 7 small cherry blossom trees in full pink bloom on a green grass lawn with tall trees with no leaves in the background at Branch Brook Park

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With a collection that rivals Washington D.C.'s, Branch Brook Park in Newark has one of the largest groups of Japanese cherry blossom trees in the country. Located in the garden state, Branch Brook Park was the first county park opened for public use in the U.S. Cherry blossom trees were originally planted in the park as the result of a gift from the Fuld family.

The park, which has over 14 varieties of cherry blossom trees, runs a live webcam during the blooming season.

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Osaka, Japan

Pink cherry blossom trees in bloom around the Osaka Castle at night under a clear sky

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One of Japan’s most famous landmarks, Osaka Castle Park, contains several hundred cherry trees. There are a variety of sakuras on the castle grounds—including late blooming cherries—so that sakura blooms continue from late March through early April.

At night, the castle and flowering trees in Osaka Castle Park's Nishinomaru Garden are brightly lit, lending an otherworldly glow to the trees in the park.

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Portland, Oregon

A stand of pink blooming cherry blossom trees along the waterfront at Portland's Japanese American Historical Plaza under a partly cloudy, partly sunny sky

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At the north end of Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland lies the tree-lined Japanese American Historical Plaza. Dedicated in 1990, the 100 Akebono cherry trees were planted along the Willamette River waterfront to memorialize the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII.

The trees in this public space, donated by the Japanese Grain Importers Association, typically bloom in March or April.

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Curitiba, Brazil

Close view of a pink blooming cherry blossom tree in the foreground with the Curitiba Botanical Garden greenhouse in the background separated by a wide, green lawn under a blue sunny sky

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The cherry blossom season in the southern hemisphere starts during the winter. In Curitiba, the capital city of Paraná, the cherries start blooming in late June or early July. The city has a sizable population of Japanese people, and many of the neighborhood streets are lined with sakura.

The Botanical Garden of Curitiba, which opened in 1991, has a stunning display of these ornamental trees. A stand of cherry blossom trees are planted along a pathway near the garden's French-inspired, Art Nouveau style greenhouse.

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Macon, Georgia

Cherry blossom trees in bloom in small patches of green grass along a pathway in downtown Macon, Georgia at twilight

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One of Georgia’s smaller cities, Macon, hosts what is known as “the pinkest party on earth.” The International Cherry Blossom Festival is held in Macon each year in the spring.

The 350,000+ Yoshino cherry trees planted throughout the historic downtown area aren’t native to the city. The first 500 were financed and planted in 1973 by a local real estate agent and a new resident who took a liking to the picturesque trees.

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Vancouver, British Columbia

Large, bright pink cherry blossom trees in bloom on a large, wide lawn in Elizabeth Park, Vancouver under a blue sky

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Home to the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival each spring, the city’s fascination with cherry blossoms began with the presentation of 500 trees from the mayors of Kobe and Yokohama in the 1930s. The first trees were planted in Stanley Park to commemorate Japanese Canadians who served in World War I. Another donation of 300 trees followed in the late 1950s, with several planted at Queen Elizabeth Park.

Cherry blossom trees in Vancouver number in the tens of thousands with over 50 cultivars. The trees can be observed throughout the city. Depending on the variety, the trees bloom from February through April.

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Bonn, Germany

Tall, full cherry blossom trees in full pink bloom on a residential street in Bonn, Germany

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The narrow streets of Alstadt, the historic district of Bonn, are filled with so many cherry trees that the roads are often referred to as “tree tunnels''. One of Bonn’s streets—Heerstrasse—is also called Cherry Blossom Avenue.

The Kwanzan variety of cherry blossom trees produces the bright pink flowers associated with Bonn. The trees typically begin to bloom in late March through early April.