Each year, the cherry blossom trees awe and inspire us with their perfectly pink petals and graceful beauty. In Japan, the cherry blossom is called sakura and its meaning has everything to do with the short-lived span of these blossoms. Resonating with the feeling of how fleeting life is, it's customary to gather underneath a cherry blossom tree to celebrate life rather than mourn its quick existence. While this tradition isn't customary in other parts of the world, people still gather to witness the annual bloom of these trees as they captivate audiences with their beauty.

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One doesn't need to book a flight to Japan to see these stunning trees, and they do exist in places around the U.S. where the conditions are just right. However, their fleeting nature is still true of the trees no matter where they are - so if you plan a trip, be sure to do so between March and May of each year to ensure you can see them.

Golden Gate Park Japanese Tea Garden, San Francisco, CA

Those who admire San Francisco can add the Golden Gate Park Japanese Tea Garden to their list of places to visit. Not only is this a gorgeous park in general, but during the months of March and April, it's also home to a scattering of cherry blossoms.

These trees bloom in intensity around the park's historic pagodas and bridges, and the tea house is at the center of it all. Visitors won't be in Japan but they'll certainly have the chance to feel as though they are, especially with the culmination of Japantown's Cherry Blossom Festival which coincides with the blooms.

University Of Washington Quad, Seattle, WA

One doesn't need to be a student at the University of Washington in order to appreciate how the quad looks in the springtime. This captivating landscape doesn't even seem like a college campus once dozens of trees are in bloom, and its ethereal nature is both calming and awe-inspiring.

Many branches tower over pathways as visitors feel like they're strolling through a tunnel of pink and white, and it's an experience that University of Washington students anticipate after every winter comes to an end.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn Botanic Garden is quite well-known for its cherry blossom display which is in peak bloom during the month of April and May. The trees here are so popular that the garden has gone as far as extending their springtime hours so that everyone can enjoy them since they're gone past the month of May.

Visitors will find more than 200 rows of cherry blossoms here which are usually celebrated with an annual festival called Sakura Matsuri (which was canceled in 2021), celebrating Japanese culture, food, and music.

The National Mall, Washington, D.C.

Perhaps one of the most famous locations in the U.S. for seeing cherry blossoms is at the National Mall, where thousands of the trees begin blooming in March. These were given as a gift to the U.S. in 1912 by the mayor of Tokyo, symbolizing the friendship between the two countries.

The reflections of the trees along the water create a stunning visual effect and those who want to avoid (most) of the crowds can head to Dumbarton Oaks, which is not far. The best time to see the trees at the National Mall is in the evening when many of the crowds have come and gone, and it's a bit quieter overall.

Ohio University, Athens, OH

Athens, Ohio is home to 200 cherry blossom trees that were gifted by Chubu University, the college's sister campus. It seems a common thread with the gifting of cherry blossom trees that they symbolize friendship and lifelong unions, and that's exactly what this gift was meant to inspire.

The students of Ohio University look forward to their bloom every year, as well, with great anticipation at the thought of strolling through each row of gorgeous pink blossoms.

Charles River Esplanade, Boston, MA

The Charles River Esplanade is unique because it can be accessed by both land and the waterway. Each year, the cherry blossoms along this landmark bloom in the spring, and people come from all around the area on foot or by kayak and canoe to see them.

Not only are the cherry blossoms a sight to behold but the entire area makes for a stunning backdrop, attracting many photographers each year, as well. With not many places in Boston able to call themselves home to these beautiful trees, it's a worthy springtime destination for those in the area.

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