You don’t have to splurge a hefty amount of money and make a trip to Japan to see cherry blossoms (called sakura in Japanese) in Spring. There are some places in the US with equally beautiful views of these kawaii (cute) pink flowers, including the sakura trees in Washington DC and at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Cherry blossoms make their annual appearance every Spring, albeit for only a short period of time in full bloom, between the last week of March and the first week of April.
For a couple of weeks now (note: this was written back in Spring), I had been checking news and live video feeds to determine when is the perfect time to go. In 2017, the famed cherry blossoms bloomed the first weekend of April at the University of Washington.
So I went to there this past weekend (again, in Spring) in anticipation of a fully bloomed and picturesque sakura flower view. There was quite a crowd, and watching them gave me some ideas of fun things you could enjoy for free with sakura each Spring.
Take Pictures and Practice Your Photography Skills
If you have expensive and bulky cameras, this is a great chance to use them! It’s is a must as this is the most opportune time to take beautiful macro shots of tiny pink flowers or long range shots of the landscape soaked in pink sakura backdrop.
Even a cellphone can take beautiful snaps, selfies, or group shots. The photos here were taken by me with a phone.
Have a Picnic Under a Cherry Blossom Tree
Hanami, or flower viewing, is a Japanese custom of viewing (usually sakura) flowers. Although most people were just walking through and taking pictures at UW, there were quite a few who had claimed spots of land with picnic setups as well.
Bring food, beverage, sunglasses, and a blanket. Lay under the sakura trees, hug them, play with your kids, and take goofy photos with friends and family. Most importantly, just enjoy watching pink petals gently fall to the ground as the warm or cool breeze blows. Soak in and take pleasure in the experience.
Sakura Free Fun for Everyone
The best part about enjoying sakura trees is that you can do so for free! Or, at most, the cost of transporting yourself to where the trees are located.
If you live in the Seattle area, watching cherry blossoms could cost between $0 to $3 bus or light rail fare each way to get to/from the University of Washington. Although, if you have an ORCA card and stay for less than 2 hours, the return trip might be counted as a transfer and be free!
Wherever you are located, I would highly recommend making it a part of your annual Spring festivities to visit the alluring cherry blossom trees if there are some nearby. This is a free and fun experience that you won’t want to miss out on!