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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

Spring is upon us, even if it’s frigidly cold across England this week. Countries around the world are welcoming the coming of spring with different festivals but one of the most striking is the Japanese Sakura, or cherry blossom, Festival.

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Where to see the cherry blossoms?

Because of Japan’s geography, the cherry blossom trees bloom at different times so if you are heading east, make sure you check your travel dates against the cherry blossom predictions. One of the best places to see the blooms is at the castle in Osaka. The trees on the castle grounds date back to the 16th century. While you’re there, why not take a stroll through Sakuranomiya, a riverside park that is filled with cherry trees. It’s the perfect place for an afternoon picnic and walk.

[see]Japan: welcome spring at a sakura festival[/see]

ferris-wheel

Japan isn’t the only place to experience Sakura in spring. Head west and touch down in the USA with flights to Washington DC. The city celebrates the National Cherry Blossom Festival March 20th – April 14th as the city’s 3,000 trees explode in pastel shades of pink. The trees around Jefferson Memorial were a gift from Tokyo’s mayor Ozaki in 1912.

In Europe, Stockholm has the biggest cherry blossom festival around. The best place to go? Kungsträdgården in the heart of the Swedish capital. The blooms in the King’s Garden are a sign that spring is on its way and the whole city celebrates when they’re at their peak.

[see]Sweden 101: what first-time visitors should know[/see]

Hanami

picnic

The tradition of picnicking underneath the cherry blossom trees is called hanami and it’s believed to have been started in the 8th century. Whether you pack a hamper in Japan or underneath a tree closer to home, this is one tradition that is certain to get you in the mood for spring.

How do you celebrate the change in seasons? Ready to bring on spring?

Imgs: shogo4406kanko*, showbizsuperstar / Flickr cc.

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