The search for the elusive pale-pink Cherry Blossoms is here. While the best place to see these beloved Japanese trees is, well, in Japan, there are surprisingly quite a few places to check out these cherry trees in all of their beauty. It is hard to say when the peak bloom for cherry blossom season will be. Still, cherry blossom viewing is typically best from late March to early April and sometimes even into early May.
Called "Sakura" in Japanese, this ceremonial and festive time honors the fleeting nature of life. It coincides with hanami, an age-old tradition of gathering under the full blooms with food, music, and loved ones.
Branch Brook Park - Newark, New Jersey
Home to the Cherry Blossom Festival, our list kicks off at this Essex County Park, which flaunts 1,000 more cherry blossom trees than even the famous showing in Washington D.C. Japanese culture and pops of pink unite for this family-friendly event with a craft market and live music.
Tom McCall Waterfront Park & Portland Japanese Garden - Portland, Oregon
The PNW city, home to craft breweries and coffee, is also home to two chances to catch the springtime spectacle of cherry trees each year. The riverside version is located at the edge of the Japanese American Historical Plaza at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Constructed in 1990 to pay tribute to those forced into Japanese internment camps in WWII. The 100 Japanese cherry trees serve as an unbeatable photograph backdrop, while poems spread throughout the park give insight into the Japanese American experience.
Japanese culture is also front and center. The Portland Japanese Garden, which the former Ambassador of Japan to the United States His Excellency Nobuo Matsunaga, claimed to be "the most beautiful and authentic Japanese garden in the world outside of Japan." Don't skip tea at the garden's cafe, a koto (Japanese harp) show, or an ikebana demonstration.
The National Mall - Washington, D.C.
You cannot have a list of beautiful cherry blossoms without adding this Capitol city treasure to the list. The 3,000 trees were gifted to the District by the mayor of Tokyo in 1912 as a gesture of Japanese American friendship. Forecasts to predict the revealing of the pink flowers begin in early March, with residents and visitors planning their day trips to witness the magic from the perfect viewing spot.
The National Mall is also home to the National Cherry Blossom Festival, a month-long celebration of food, fun, culture, and pink blossoms! Guests can ride on the DC Circulator's National Mall Route, which starts at Union Station and heads around Tidal Basin through many significant attractions and cherry blossom sites.
University of Washington Quad - Seattle, Washington
Another ideal place to take in the awe-striking beauty of the famous Yoshino cherry trees is with a visit to the University of Washington's Quad. The ethereal site has gained so much popularity since its inception in the early 60s and '60s that the cherry trees here even have their own Twitter account. If you miss the peak bloom at the Quad, the cherry blossom trees at the Seattle Japanese Garden bloom just a tad bit later.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
This award-winning Texas garden flaunts 66 acres of pure plant power and love. More than 700 weddings and events happen here every year. There are approximately 20 signature gardens, including a children's garden, magnolia glades, a sunken garden, and what we are all here for - the Japanese cherry trees. The Dallas Arboretum is home to Dallas Blooms, the largest yearly flower festival in the country.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden - Brooklyn, New York
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden boasts an unparalleled spectacle of pink delight when it comes to cherry trees. Every year, the park hosts Sakura Matsuri, the park's cherry blossom festival, and its famous Cherry Walk, established in 1921. The blooms here are different as the different species of cherry trees have been planted in the park to take their turns blooming and to fall in sequential order.
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