Where to See the Best Cherry Blossoms Around the World | Travel | Smithsonian
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Where to See the Best Cherry Blossoms Around the World

The blossoms in Japan and Washington, D.C are breathtaking, but you can see beautiful flowers in places like Stockholm, too

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Hirosaki Park—Hirosaki, Japan

The cherry blossom is an extremely important symbol in Japanese culture: the flower's brief bloom symbolizes the fragility, transience and beauty of life. Each year, the Japan Weather Association tracks the peak bloom, and when the trees finally flower, the nation erupts into a celebration known as hanami, where families hold picnics under the blooming branches.

One of the most idyllic places to view the blooms in Japan is in Hirosaki Park, where over one million people enjoy the 2,600 trees each spring. Visitors can stroll through blossom tunnels created by overlapping branches, snap photos in front of the 400-year-old Hirosaki Castle and row rented boats through the petal-dotted moat.

Expected peak bloom: April 28 to May 6, 2014

Hirosaki Sakura Matsuri Festival: April 23 to May 6, 2014 (Japanese)

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