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Chase The Blossoms

It seems spring has finally sprung... lengthening days and rising temperatures convey a feeling of bliss. Just looking through the window is a delight unto itself; bulbs budge and flower and leaf buds pop up on the tree branches. If you too adore these white and pink shaded blossoms, why not put the destinations below on your to-visit list?   


The Japanese name their cherry tree 'sakura' (http://www.jnto.go.jp/sakura/eng/index.php), symbolizing the ephemeral beauty of the pink flowers that blankets the country. No matter how fair the flowers, their days are counted. To honour and welcome their be-it short-lived presence the Japanese put on a series of celebrations, parties and picnics under their blossoming branches. Best time to admire the cherry blossoms is late March; the best spots are Ueno Park or imperial Chidorigafuchi palace in Tokyo or Kyoto's Kitanotenmagū temple.

Washington DC

Since the Mayor of Tokyo gave the city of Washington 3,000 blossom trees as a gift, it became tradition to inaugurate springtime annually by the National Cherry Blossom Festival. (http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org). Between 20 March and 14 April a number of exhibitions and happenings are orchestrated in honour of the soft pink cherry blossoms. Fact is Washington has all the know-how! Jefferson Memorial and Dumbarton Oaks public garden in Georgetown are definitely worth your while.


As soon as the first rays of sunshine appear the Swedes gather on the steps along the banks of Kungsträdgarden (http://www.kungstradgarden.se) to enjoy the weather ... and the beautiful blossoms. Though the park is located in the city centre the sea of blossoms give the impression you are in the middle of nature at some fairy-tale park.  Numerous pubs surround the park. Kungsträdgarden definitely comes recommended as the ideal spot to unwind half way your shopping spree or museum-hopping experience.


In Austria, Mother Nature colours its cherry trees blossoms white and pink. Weather-permitting a sightseeing trip is best scheduled between mid-April and mid-May, particularly in Burgenland. The Kirschblüten-Randerweg runs right through the middle of this petal sea. Alongside of it you will marvel at thousands of blooming cherry trees, vineyards and orchards.


Hamburg celebrates spring annually with its May cherry blossom festival, complete with elected cherry blossom queen and fireworks. Though the fireworks can be seen for miles around, the most impressive spot to watch them is near their launch pad along the banks of the Alster Lake in the city centre. Bbq on the lawn, bob in a boat on the water or relax on a nearby terrace. And for those who cannot get enough of their beauty, head to the Alster Kennedy Bridge and witness the enthralling charms of 5,000 cherry trees in bloom.

By Stephanie Duval - 02/04/2015