With sakura season fast approaching, it’s only a matter of time before the streets of Japan will be thronged with too many tourists shoving their selfie sticks in your face. You may be torn between wanting to experience the fleeting beauty of cherry blossoms for yourself and trying not to get stampeded down by tourists, but did you know that you can view the sakura outside of Japan too?
Consider this a cunning life hack: while everyone heads to Japan for sakura viewing, you’re elsewhere in the world seeing them too — minus the crowd. Most people will already be familiar with the cherry blossom viewing festival in Washington D.C. The American state commemorates annually the date that Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gifted cherry trees back in 1912. But Washington D.C. isn’t the only city that the Japanese government has gifted sakura trees to — there are also other cities with ties to the land of the rising sun, such as Hamburg. The city housed many Japanese companies that have offices there, and in return for their hospitality, Japan gifted them 5,000 sakura trees in 1968. Brazil too has cherry trees brought over by Japanese immigrants, which resulted in one of the most beautiful places to view the sakura blooms.
Armed with this knowledge, it’s time to book your tickets to view cherry blossoms in a country that isn’t Japan. Read on to find out where and which time of the year to visit.