Spring is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to start planning a trip to see the short-lived blooms of cherry blossoms in all their glory.
And according to travel booking portal Expedia, the choices are not limited to Japan.
While hanami (flower viewing) is most commonly associated with the Japanese, there are other cities right here in Asia where you can snap photos of the pretty pink blossoms.
From Japan to Singapore, here are the top seven places in Asia with bountiful cherry blossoms, and the best dates to catch them in full bloom.
1. Mount Yoshino, Nara Prefecture, Kansai, Japan
Of course Japan made it onto the list. To get a more spectacular view of the cherry blossoms, you should hike up to the observatories at the top of Mount Yoshino during sunset, Expedia says.
Bloom forecast: March 26 to April 10 2019
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2. Alishan Forest Recreation Area, Chiayi, Taiwan
At Alishan Forest Recreation Area, there will be over 19,000 blooming cherry trees, including the pink-white Kuril Cherry, Wusheh Cherry, Somei-Yoshino Cherry and Oshima Cherry.
According to Expedia, the best time to visit is early in the morning, to avoid the crowd. Travellers can also plan an overnight stay in Alishan to get a more complete, scenic experience.
Bloom forecast: March 9 to April 10 2019
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3. Yuantouzhu, Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China
At Yuantouzhu, also known as “Turtle Head Island”, cherry tress will bloom against the backdrop of classic Jiangnan-style architecture. To get the most breathtaking views of the cherry blossoms, you should walk along the Changchun Bridge or down the Cherry Valley, Expedia says in a press release.
Bloom forecast: Mid-March to late April 2019
4. Ly Thai To Park, Hanoi, Vietnam
According to Expedia, Vietnam holds a yearly cherry blossom festival in Hanoi to celebrate the arrival of Spring and the nation’s 46-year-long friendship with Japan.
On top of cherry blossoms, Ly Thai To Park will also feature Vietnamese flowers such as orchids, lilies and poinsettias. Expedia also recommends taking part in traditional Japanese activities held there during the festival.
Bloom forecast: March 29 to 31 2019
- Facebook / Go VietNam Travel
5. Jinhae Gunhangjie Cherry Blossom Festival, Busan, South Korea
Every year, during the Spring season, the Kyeong-Wha station will be flanked with cherry blossoms in full bloom.
The Jinhae Gunhangie Cherry Blossom Festival, which Expedia says is the largest annaul festival in South Korea, will feature various performances and activities. There will be an iconic “romance bridge” where couples can snap Insta-worthy photos.
Bloom forecast: April 1 to 10 2019
6. Juknokwon Bamboo Forest, Gwangju, South Korea
Another must-visit spot in South Korea is Gwangju’s Juknokwon Bamboo Forest, which will feature cherry blossoms juxtaposed against tall bamboo trees.
Bloom forecast: April 9 to 15 2019
7. Gardens by The Bay, Singapore
If you don’t have the time or money to travel far, you can always visit the “cherry blossoms” in Singapore at Gardens by the Bay.
The Flower Dome has been holding yearly sakura festivals since 2016, showcasing over 20 varieties of cherry blossoms.
This year’s Sakura Matsuri Floral Display features structures made to look like Japan’s iconic Torii gates beneath pink and white cherry blossoms, and a traditional-style wooden bridge.
“Bloom” forecast: March 9 to 31 2019
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