After an extended period of movement controls, there’s more of a reason than ever to want to experience the majestic blooms. While Japan is usually the hot destination for “Sakura Zensen”, digital travel platform Agoda shares ideas of where to experience hints of pink closer to home.
Agoda’s GoLocal Survey has shown a third of travelers across the globe cite “Nature” as their preferred type of holiday destination, making national parks or gardens an ideal getaway to get off the grid and be surrounded by spring buds.
Malaysians can revel in the fact that Malaysia has its own ‘sakura season’. Every year from February to April, the city streets of Alor Setar, Kedah are lined with ethereal trails of pink and white. Known as Tecoma trees, these flowers resembling cherry blossoms transform the city. While the blooms can be found in most parts of the city, by far the best-known hotspots are along Jalan Kuala Kedah and Jalan Langgar. Stay at the Hotel Royale Signature, a stone’s throw from popular landmarks like Amand Central and Menara Alor Setar Tower.
From Kedah, go down to another destination that boasts dazzling Tecoma blooms alongside its famous food, culture and heritage – Penang. Known by their local name as ’tissue paper trees’ or ‘trumpet flower trees’, these beautiful flowers typically bloom during the dry season between February and April, carpeting the roads with petals of pink, white and purple. Book a stay at the Lone Pine Boutique Hotel, right at the beach at Batu Ferringhi.
The sakura trees in Cibodas Botanical Garden blooms twice a year. First bloom in February to March, the second between July to August due to Indonesia’s two season climate. Enjoy a nearby luxurious stay at Le Eminence Puncak Hotel Convention and Resort and wake up to a picturesque mountain view.
East Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara
Fret not if you miss the March or April blooms elsewhere, catch sakura in October at Waingapu as well! For those who enjoy culture, check out the local ikat stores and workshops, and traders lugging bundles of textiles around town. Book a weekend getaway at the Padadita Beach Hotel and enjoy the sea views from the pool terrace.
Hot on the lips of locals-in-the-know is Tokyo’s Yanaka neighborhood which offers travelers the opportunity to immerse themselves in authentic Japanese culture, where traditional ways of life are still part of the neighborhood’s daily routine. Springtime sees Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park and Meguro River alive with color, but don’t miss out on an alternative yet beautiful way to see these blossoms in full force at Yanaka Cemetry which bursts with expansive cherry trees. Stay at , a modern space that comes with a café and right by the JR station. LANDABOUT TOKYO, a modern space that comes with a café and right by the JR station.
Get lost in narrow labyrinthian pathways where visitors can enjoy breath-taking views of the blooming cherry blossoms against the picturesque Mt. Fuji. By day, Nagasaki Park is a popular spot for many locals to enjoy hanami (flower viewing) sessions under the white and pink cherry blossoms. By night, find respite at Wajoen Ryokan that comes with its own hot spring bathhouse, and located close by wineries and the Takeda Shrine.
Look no further than the capital for a dose of Cherry Blossoms. Take a stroll along the lake at Seoul Grand Park, or visit the Seoul palaces, which make great spots to admire and capture the bloom, while learning about Korea’s rich history and architecture. Retire at the Walkerhill Douglas House, for further nature respite as the hotel is surrounded by woodland, and is designed to offer a relaxing ambience for guests.
Jeju is the top travel destination in Korea. It was the top destination for Lunar New Year 2021 and the second popular destination for New Year 2020 according to Agoda booking data. In late March, book a stay at the new Hotel Seogwipean, a stylish minimalist hotel that is close to the downtown area to see Jeju’s King Cherry Tree blossom, whose cherry blossoms have the largest petals of all the cherry trees.
More than just known for its pristine beaches, majestic underwater flora and fauna, and Puerto Princesa’s world-renowned Underground River, Palawan offers another remarkable attraction—the Philippines’ own cherry blossoms. Known as the balayong or the Palawan Cherry, these trees produce white and pink flowers that bloom every March to April. They are being cultivated by the local government with the aim of creating its own sakura park. Take a weekend trip and stay at Hotel Galija, which is also a pet-friendly hotel.
Closer to Manila, Dasmariñas, Cavite also boasts its own faux cherry blossoms. The dainty pastel pink blooms are a product of Trumpet Trees—a distant cousin of Japan’s sakura trees which fall just as gracefully, leaving delicate sheet of color across its surroundings. Spend a romantic weekend at the Mount Sea Resort, lazing away the afternoon by the pool and taking evening walks close to nature.
Wuling Farm is one of the most popular cherry blossoms viewing spots in Taiwan, with over 20,000 cherry trees. In addition to staying overnight at Wuling Farm Guest House, visitors can also join day tours of farm to enjoy the beautiful cherry blossoms.
Take an hour drive from Puli Township to the tranquil AOWANDA National Forest Recreation Area located behind the Wanda Reservoir, home to the indigenous tribes of Sediq and Atayal. In addition to an abundance of cherry blossoms and butterflies in Spring, visit the majestic “AOWANDA Bridge” that connects the beautiful pine forest area and the intersection of the north and south streams of AOWANDA River. Spend a night at Top Cloud Villa, Nantou to star gaze on a clear night.
To experience Thailand’s cherry blossom, Chompoo Pantip, head to Kasetsart University which boasts more than 200 Chompoo Pantip blossom trees. Full bloom happens only once a year in March/April, where the trees on both sides of the street are adorned with pink flowers forming a romantic pathway and covers the landscape with soft pink petals. End your day by staying overnight at RK Riverside Resort and Spa.
Travelers unable to experience Chompoo Pantip, could still be tinkled pink to find the Thale Noi Waterfowl Reserve’s blooming pink lotuses (Thale Noi, Phatthalung). Truly a sight to behold, the reserve is also the home to hundred species of birds. Stay at the Sripakpra Boutique Resort and wake up the lush greenery and flora.
Making up for closed borders and what would have been an international trip to Japan, Nhat Tan Cherry Blossom village has a unique dark pink shade of cherry blossom trees, curated by local gardeners. Accompanying these beautiful spring views are cooler temperatures, making for a delightful holiday from the hustle and bustle of city life. Sofitel Legend Metropole offers a warm welcome and relaxing getaway.
With close to 3000 bright pink Cherry Blossom trees, Da Lat is exceptional in the Spring and known as the City of Flowers These blossoms are popular for their unique shape, reflecting five leaf apricot trees. For a truly ravishing sight, walk through the city at sunrise. Spend the weekend at the newly opened Terracotta Hotel and Resort Dalat that has its own garden that comes with their own pink blooms.
A popular spot for tourists and locals alike, Ha Giang’s natural beauty is astounding in Spring. The city’s natural landscape encapsulates cherry blossoms along its windy roads through Quan Ba, Yen Minh and Meo Vac. It’s nestled among mountains, making for magnificent views. Stay at the Phoenix Hotel, where it’s near popular landmarks like the Thon Tha Village.