Chasing cherry blossoms across Asia
In Japan, the tradition of viewing and appreciating cherry blossoms is called Hanami, which literally means ‘flower viewing.’
CHERRY blossoms surround Mt. Fuji. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF KLOOK
Typically, in full bloom around March to April, Cherry Blossoms draw crowds from all over the world, however, aside from their beauty, what else do these pink flowers have and why is it worth dedicating an adventure?
More popularly known as sakura, the cherry blossoms not only signify the beginning of spring but also symbolizes the time for renewal. Due to the blossoms’ lifespan of roughly two weeks, the fast turnover rate is seen as the cycle of life and death.
In Japan, the tradition of viewing and appreciating cherry blossoms is called Hanami, which literally means “flower viewing.” It has become a vital part of Japanese culture that Hanami has become the climax of celebrating the spring season. People far and wide flock where the flowers bloom to eat, drink, sing songs, and bond with loved ones while celebrating and embodying the essence of Hanami.
To appreciate the one-of-a-kind beauty of the cherry blossoms, popular attractions to take note of are a tour of Mount Fuji with its picturesque Eight Ponds of Oshino Hakkai, and an experience around Gunma where one will witness the majestic Fukiware-no-taki Waterfalls.
The country expects to see its first cherry blossoms by 29 March in Tokyo and the latest bloom by 2 May in Sapporo.
In South Korea, the cherry blossom was seen as a marker of Japanese culture but later evolved to symbolize purity and beauty. The pink petals are also often used in pop culture, particularly in Korean dramas where it represents true love. Unsurprisingly, cherry blossoms have found their way into one of South Korea’s best-known industries — skincare and beauty.
South Korea does not fall behind in terms of celebrations when it comes to the cherry blossom season. In the capital city of Seoul, one of the best areas to view the beautiful blooms is Yeouido Park where the cherry blossoms are seen against a backdrop of the calming Han River. Nearby is Yeouido Dock where tour company Klook offers the Seoul Eland Hangang River Cruise, a scenic experience great for a relaxed bonding experience with friends and family around Seoul.
Outside of Seoul, cherry blossoms fans can also take a day trip to Gyeongju, a city in a coastal province just two hours away from Seoul via KTX. Gyeongju is also well known for holding an annual “cherry blossom marathon” where participants get to run through five kilometers along the lush rows of cherry trees.
Seeing its first bloom on 22 March in Jeonju, admirers can expect to witness the pink season until 5 April, enough time to see the blossoming cherry trees in South Korea.
Recognizing the beauty of the cherry blossoms, Taiwan started to plant these trees in various locales with the Beitou District even becoming a tourist favorite.
Interesting fact: While Taiwan isn’t as well associated with cherry blossoms as Japan, Taiwan turns pink much earlier than the latter. The cherry blossoms bloom in January and last for a good four months, giving both locals and tourists until April to appreciate the season.
A popular attraction in Taiwan during the cherry blossom season is a glamping experience in Hsinchu. Located in a campsite surrounded by mountains, tourists get to experience nature, away from the typical cityscape.
Having the earliest blooming sakuras in Southeast Asia, the blossoms have already unveiled themselves during the later part of January in Taipei and Nantou. Blooming across the entire country, the season will last until April.
Explore what you can do with Klook’s Under the Pink Sky promo in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan this spring and score different deals from 15 February until 31 March.
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