By Expedia on March 11, 2019
KUALA LUMPUR – Spring is upon us and it’s THE most exciting time of the year as seasons transition, trees bloom and the landscapes emerge from the winter.
We have all experienced travel moments that were so perfect, we could have stayed in them forever. And what probably made the moment even more memorable was the fact that it felt like it ended too soon. The Japanese have a word that encompasses the lingering feeling that you didn’t quite take in enough before it was gone: wabi-sabi.
Wabi-sabi is a concept that centers on the idea of impermanence and imperfection. It acknowledges that “nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect” and makes a good introduction to the feeling one has and experience during the cherry blossom – or as it’s known in Japan as the sakura season in Japan. If catching the Sakura is on your travel wish-list, then it is absolutely important to know the exact timing for the exact location to capture those Insta-worthy photos set against the backdrop of the sakura in full bloom.
So, to make sure that you’re in the right place at the right time, with just a fraction of a cost, the team at Expedia has curated a list of 7 beautiful sakura spots around the world you didn’t know existed and won’t want to miss.
1. Gardens by The Bay, Singapore (Bloom Forecast: 9 to 31 March 2019)
Did you know that Singapore has a massive 101 hectares? Since 2016, the famed Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay has been holding annual sakura festivals to the delight of both locals and visitors. With over 20 varieties of cherry blossoms on showcase, taking a stroll through this year’s Sakura Matsuri Floral Display is the closest experience you can get to visiting the Land of the Rising Sun. Check out the dramatic row of Torii gates lined up beneath a breath-taking canopy of pink and white cherry blossoms, or cross the traditional wooden bridge to peek through the marumado windows, which frames the scene for that perfect Instagram photo.
Alishan Forest Recreation Area, Chiayi, Taiwan (Bloom Forecast: 9 March to 10 April 2019)
One of the best places to view cherry blossoms in Taiwan is the Alishan Forest Recreation Area located in Chiayi. With over 19,000 cherry trees in bloom, including the pink-white Kuril Cherry, Wusheh Cherry, Somei-Yoshino Cherry and Oshima Cherry, the beautiful sea of flowers will form a dreamlike backdrop for stunning photos to be taken effortlessly. Be sure to head there early in the morning to avoid the crowd, and as for those with time to spare, it is recommended that you plan a stay overnight in Alishan for a more complete scenic experience.
Yuantouzhu, Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, China (Bloom Forecast: Mid-March to late April 2019)
Yuantouzhu, also known as “Turtle Head Island”, is a peninsula lying on the northwestern shore of the Taihu Lake in Wuxi, which is an hour and a half away from Shanghai via bullet train. Here, a breathtaking display of cherry blossoms along the shores of the lake is set against a backdrop of classic Jiangnan-style architecture, creating a stunning site for Insta-worthy photography. Be sure to take a stroll along the famed Changchun Bridge or take a hike down the Cherry Valley for some of the most breathtaking views of the cherry blossom blooms.
Mount Yoshino, Nara Prefecture, Kansai, Japan (Bloom Forecast: 26 March to 10 April 2019)
Every year, Mount Yoshino transforms into a sea of pink at the turn of spring as countless Sakura trees begin to bloom all over the mountain. Due to the elevation, the blooming season is spread over a longer period of time across the lower, middle and upper sections of the mountain. For a more spectacular view of the blooms, hike up to the observatories near the town at the mountain’s top during sunset. You may be a little tired after the long hike, but you will surely not regret the experience!
Ly Thai To Park, Hanoi, Vietnam (Bloom Forecast: 29 to 31 March 2019)
Each year, Vietnam holds a beautiful cherry blossom festival in Hanoi to celebrate the arrival of spring, as well as its 46-year-long friendship with Japan. For flower lovers, you’ll be in for a treat! Expect Ly Thai To Park to turn into a sea of colour from 29 to 31 March, not only will Japanese cherry blossoms be on display, but local Vietnamese flowers such as orchids, lilies and poinsettias will be on showcase too. Be sure to find that perfect spot adjacent to the famous Hoan Kiem Lake and take part in the traditional Japanese games and activities for the full experience.
Jinhae Gunhangjie Cherry Blossom Festival, Busan, South Korea (Bloom Forecast: 1 to 10 April 2019)
Popular with locals and visitors, the Jinhae Gunhangie Cherry Blossom Festival is the largest annual festival in South Korea. Every year when spring comes around, both sides of the Kyeong-Wha station will be lined with cherry blossoms in full bloom, while the fallen flower petals paint the street into a beautiful shade of pink. With the spring celebrations lasting 10 full days, cherry blossom lovers can enjoy the wide range of performances and activities, while couples can head to the iconic romance bridge to capture that picture-perfect moment with pink cherry blossoms all around!
Juknokwon Bamboo Forest, Gwangju, South Korea (Bloom Forecast: 9 to 15 April 2019)
If you’re looking for a dramatically different cherry blossom experience, head to the Gwangju’s Juknokwon Bamboo Forest. Set aside time to wander at your own leisurely pace through the tranquil forest, where bursts of the gorgeous cherry blossoms are juxtaposed against the tall imposing bamboo trees, forming a magnificent view that is super impressive to behold.
If you haven’t planned your spring 2019 travel yet, you’ll be glad to know that it’s still not too late to do so! Expedia Group and the Airlines Reporting Corporation’s (ARC) 2019 Travel Pricing Outlook Report recently released five of the best-kept travel booking secrets to help you save more on your travels this year. Hence, don’t forget to:
Need more Spring travel inspiration, click here for more travel ideas, destinations and everything you need to know about the Cherry Blossoms. Happy planning!