select - cherry blossom cities

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Nothing says spring in the northern hemisphere more than the first blooms of the season, and none more so than the spectacular pink-and-white display of cherry tree blossoms, long the subject of admiration, traditional observances, and celebration.

 


Washington DC

The annual National Cherry Blossom Festival in the US capital, celebrating spring, runs from March 27 to April 11 this year. It originated in 1912 when Yoshino cherry trees were gifted to the city of Washington, DC by Japan. Today, at festival time, these trees present a profusion 
of pink and white blossoms around the Tidal Basin, where cultural performances and fireworks are held. 
Apart from other leisurely activities, the two-week festival features sushi tast-ing, a ten-mile run, and contemporary art and music. More highlights of the Sakura Matsuri, or Japanese Street Festi-val, are aspects of Japanese culture, from origami to sumo, and drumming to manga comics. The climax is the Festival Parade on April 10 along Constitution Avenue, with floats, bands, and performers.

WHY
At no time is the American capital more beautiful than in spring, when blossoms erupt and the weather warms.

WHERE
The Tidal Basin by the Potomac River, overlooked by the Jefferson Memorial, is best for blooms.

HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has daily non-stop flights to Washington DC from Doha.
 

 


Osaka

The grounds of Osaka Castle have over 4,000 cherry trees, while Kema Sakuranomiya Park offers four kilometres of riverbank lined 
by blossoms. The grounds of the Mint Bureau, open to the public during the season, burst with double-flowering and late-blooming varieties. Other fine parks are Expo ’90 Commemorative Park and Sumiyoshi Park; but experts claim the best blooms of all are around the Ministry of Finance building.

WHY
Cherry blossom season 
in Japan is celebrated like nowhere else with a mix of tradition and high spirits.

WHERE
The vast grounds of Osaka Castle in the east of the city provide blossoms against a samurai backdrop.

HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has daily non-stop flights to Osaka from Doha.
 

 


Seoul

In spring, South Korea’s capital is awash in pink blossoms, with festivities held from March 30 to April 13. Mount Namsan is the focus of cherry admiration, with over 2,000 trees in bloom along the winding, traffic-free road leading to its summit, spectacularly lit up at night. While the hillside hosts musical performances, along the river at Yeouido vast crowds picnic beneath the trees along a six-kilometre stretch, also illuminated after nightfall. A family favourite 
is Children’s Grand Park, with its bonus of azaleas and tulips at their best. Lotte World amusement park has its own blossom festival, with costumed actors, musicians, and a flower parade. But for contemplating the blooms in more tranquillity, the wonderful gardens of Seoul’s Changgyeonggung and Gyeongbokgung royal palaces await.

WHY
Cherry blossoms erupting against a backdrop of ancient palaces and modern skyscrapers.

WHERE
Mount Namsan, south of downtown Seoul and topped by Seoul Tower, has the best display of cherry trees.

HOW TO GET THERE
Qatar Airways has daily 
non-stop flights to Seoul 
from Doha.

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