From China to Thailand, there are plenty of places to go to for the cherry blossom season.

Cherry blossoms in Japan are a huge deal. It marks peak tourist season, all thronging in for hanami, the festival of cherry blossoms.

There are about 1,000 over locations across the country that you can go to between early February to May to view the blossoms. We also have a list of some of the underrated places in Japan you can take your pick from. But, what if we tell you that you don’t have to brave the crowd in getting to Japan. There are other places in Asia where you can enjoy the cherry blossoms, minus getting jostled and elbowed, each with its own attraction.

Here are 6 places outside Japan where you can see cherry blossoms in Asia.

Jinhae, Changwon, South Korea

One of the many things to look forward to in South Korea is its cherry blossoms. The largest cherry blossom festival in South Korea, the Jinhae Gunhangje Cherry Blossom Festival, not only celebrates the cherry blossoms, but also the patriotic spirit of the country. During the festival, there will be a military orchestra marching through the streets lined with cherry trees in full bloom, promising an experience that will be remembered long after your trip. There are about 340,000 trees in Jinhae, promising an experience of ephemeral beauty which must be commemorated.

Best time to visit: From April 1st to April 10th

Shanghai, China

Shanghai offers more than one spectacular spot to go sakura sight-seeing. If you have to pick only one, you wouldn’t want to miss the Cherry Blossom festival that is celebrated in Gucun Park. This is the largest cherry forest in Shanghai, with nearly ten thousand cherry trees covering the ground and more than 50 different species. Then, in the southwest suburbs, you can find the Shanghai Botanical Garden, the largest municipal botanical garden in China. In spring, the garden is especially picturesque, thanks to the many cherry blossoms and other springtime blooms.


Best time to visit: From late March and early April

Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam

Head over here for the fairytale experience of enjoying the pink blossoms’ reflection on the clear pristine lake on Pa Khoang island. The beautiful view of the island during spring has earned it the moniker “Sakura Peninsula”. Called higan sakura by the locals, the cherry trees were nurtured and cultivated by Dr Tran Le, a Vietnamese scientist, after getting some seeds from a Japanese friend. This is also the place where the Dien Bien Phu battle raged for 56 days before Vietnam’s victory, ending France’s colonial rule in Indochina and paving the way for Vietnam’s independence.


Best time to visit: From January to April

Alishan, Taiwan

In a country that has a number of sakura viewing spots, the Alishan Cherry Blossom Festival is the one not to be missed if you had to pick one. This idyllic Chiayi town is home to over 20,000 cherry trees. During spring, it is an ideal destination to fall in love with the lush mountain scenery and forests. Do spend at least a night here to fully take in the beauty of the alpine area with many scenic hiking trails.

 

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Best time to visit: From early March to early April

Chiang Mai, Thailand

To promote tourism in the region, the Khun Chang Khian Highland Agriculture Research Centre at Suthep, Chiang Mai, took the leap in planting the blossom trees in the area. Their efforts were not in vain, now, visitors throng up the unpaved and narrow roads during spring to enjoy the blossoms. Once at the top, you can enjoy the view while sipping a cup of locally grown coffee or warm yourself with a piping bowl of noodle soup and don’t forget to sample local delicacies such as sai-ua (northern Thai sausages) and steaming purple sweet potatoes.


Best time to visit: From January to March

Shilong, India

India probably was the place we least expected to have its own celebration of cherry blossoms. The India International Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the unique autumn flowering of Himalayan Cherry Blossoms in November, long after other places draw the curtains on the pink blooms. What’s a celebration without fashion shows, rock concerts, a beauty pageant or the chance to compete in an amateur Golf Tournament. Take the chance to sample some of the region’s food, wine and crafts in the stalls at the fair.

Best time to visit: In November

Images: Instagram and stock photos

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