The best cities in the world to see cherry blossoms

From Kyoto, Japan to Washington D.C., these 10 cities are the best places to see cherry blossoms.

March 30, 2016

by Briana Seftel

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Every spring, the world is gifted with the sight of cherry blossoms. In Japan, the tradition of cherry blossom season is known as hanami. But the centuries-old tradition extends beyond the shores of Japan, with many more cities across the world holding annual festivals celebrating the precious pink bloom.

From quintessential Kyoto to lesser-known Macon, Georgia, these are the 10 best cities in the world to see cherry blossoms and where to stay.




Named one of our most romantic cities in the world, Kyoto is heralded around the world for its cherry blossoms. While the trees can be viewed throughout Japan during spring, Kyoto is the most picturesque. To really see the blooms in action, visit the Kyoto Imperial Palace 85 or the Philosopher’s Path.

Westin Kyoto

Westin Miyako Kyoto

Located just outside Kyoto, the The Westin Miyako Kyoto 86 embodies the serenity of its surroundings.

Washington, D.C.

DC Cherry blossoms

Washington, D.C.

Outside of Kyoto, D.C. is the best place for premium blossom viewing. Each year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is held over a five week period on the National Mall 87. Crowds can get uncomfortably large, but luckily there are several places in D.C. to see the blooms.

Mandarin Oriental DC

Mandarin Oriental

See cherry blossoms without leaving your hotel at the Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C. 86, with incredible views of the Tidal Basin.


Every April the Brooklyn Botanic Garden 88 hosts Sakura Matsui, the Japanese tradition marking the end of hanami (aka cherry blossom season). The two-day affair includes a cosplay fashion show, bands playing traditional tunes and dance performances.

Can’t make it to Brooklyn? Take a scroll through the gardens instead.


NU Hotel

Access the Botanic Garden easily from the NU Hotel 82, a hip haven in nearby Downtown Brooklyn.

Macon, Georgia



Little known fact: Macon is the cherry blossom capital of the world. With more than 300,000 trees, the city is practically awash in a baby pink. Its annual festival, ending in March, is earlier than most because of the warmer climate down south.

Stonehurst Place

Stay at Stonehurst Place, a charming bed and breakfast in Atlanta.




Vancouver is home to over 37,000 cherry trees gifted to the city by Japan. Join in the festivities at the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival, where every the city is host to a number of cherry tree-themed events. The VanDusen Botanical Garden is an especially good place for viewing.


Opus Hotel

The Opus Hotel in Vancouver’s trendy Yaletown district is no doubt one of the best in the city.




In 1998, 63 Japanese cherry trees were planted around one of most central parks, the Kungsträdgården (King’s Garden). 18 years later, the trees have become a can’t-miss sight in the Swedish capital every mid-to-late April. 

Hotel Diplomat

Hotel Diplomat 86, located on the grand boulevard Strandvagen, makes for a refined stay.




In Seoul, the Yeouido Spring Flower Festival brings thousands of visitors to the city’s national assembly building. More than 1,600 cherry trees bloom along the Han River, in addition to nearly 90,000 flowers including azaleas, forsythias and spireas.

Rakkojae Seoul

Skip the chain hotels in favor of the Rakkojae Seoul 79, a traditional hanok dating back to the 1870s.

San Francisco


San Francisco Japanese Tea Garden

Some 30 cherry blossom trees will bloom in San Francisco’s Japantown. Happening at the same time is the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, which celebrates the city’s rich Japanese culture and heritage and draws over 200,000 visitors a year.


Hotel Kabuki

Keep in the Japanese theme by booking a room at Hotel Kabuki.




One of the many glorious aspects of springtime in Paris is the cherry blossoms along the Parc du Champ De Mars, an expansive green space at the foot of the Eiffel Tower in the 7th arrondissement. On sunny days (a rarity in Paris), there’s no better place to while away an afternoon. Picnics are encouraged. 

Hotel du Champ de Mars

Stay at – where else? – Hotel du Champ de Mars 78, an affordable boutique hotel in the 7th.

Salem, Oregon



The capitol of Oregon was once known as Cherry City, a nod to the cherry orchards that once surrounded the valley town. Nowadays, the only remnant of Salem’s once-bustling cherry business is the double row of cherry trees outside of Oregon’s capitol building.

Hotel Monaco

The Hotel Monaco is playful and sophisticated in downtown Portland, about an hour away from Salem by car.

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