Being surrounded by fresh sakura blossoms, the tree branches dancing with the spring breeze, and the sun peeking through the pink petals, fueling every object it hits with warmth and a smile (and twinkly star anime eyes)...
This was a scene I've romanticized, ever since I was a nerdy and anime obsessed adolescent (still am). Although it was cloudy and rainy for a majority of my time in Japan, the sakura was still just as beautiful, and at times even more romantic, causing my single heart to burst at the seams.
So yes, going to Japan in general was a big dream of mine, but to see the sakura as well? That was a whole other dream on a different level, one that I didn't think I was going accomplish so soon. It still feels surreal when I reminisce about all the beauty I witnessed, and as a jaded New Yorker, that says quite a lot. For those planning to go to Japan, I highly suggest going during cherry blossom season. Despite it being peak season for tourism, witnessing Japan's beautiful national flower only enriched my visit, supplying me with beautiful memories that I will remember forever.
There are so many cherry blossom viewing spots in Japan, but here is a list of my favorite sakura spots that I got to see throughout my trip.
Meguro River was my favorite sakura spot; it was absolutely breathtaking. The stroll underneath the cherry blossom trees along the river felt like I was in sakura heaven! A vision that will forever be ingrained in my brain!
It’s actually a venue for newlyweds, but they open the garden to the public. As you stroll through the beautiful Japanese garden adorned with sakura, you’ll also see women in the most beautiful and ornate kimonos. Quite a sight to see!
If you go here during peak seasons (spring and fall), you MUST catch the night illuminations they do for the temple and walking grounds. It was a breathtaking walk as I strolled through and past the beautiful red temples, surrounded by lit cherry blossom trees and the full moon radiating its soft glow.
Yasaka Shrine/Maruyama Park
After you walk through Yasaka Shrine, you will enter Maruyama Park, where not only the mother of all cherry blossom trees lives, but where you can also dine under its equally beautiful underlings, with food from the local vendors and a drink of your choice. It’s like dining in cherry blossom heaven!
Along with the famous bamboo forest and monkey park, Arashiyama has so many areas with cherry blossom trees where you’ll see men and women in their yukatas scurrying around for pictures.
Kiyamachi is the street to hit up on an evening in Kyoto, not just for the bars and restaurants but for the cherry blossom-lined street! Running along the Takase river, this street is a scene to see-- especially at night when the sakura are all lit up, creating a cinematic scenario straight out of a romance film.
P.S. Excuse my awkward hair, I'm currently growing it out and it's going to be in this weird phase for the next couple of months.