Cherry blossoms – or the Sakura, as the Japanese call it – are something all travel bloggers have on their bucket list. We do too. Although we are yet to go to Japan, we had an unlikely yet beautiful encounter with cherry blossoms on our trip to the quaint village Kanatal in Northern India.
We were driving to Kanatal from the Dehradun airport after an early flight. Half asleep in the car and dreaming of the cozy bed awaiting us in the resort, we suddenly saw delicate pink blossoms out of the window. Could it or could it not be? Cherry blossom trees? Was our mind playing tricks? Nope, there they were, in plain sight. Jogging down memory lane, we remembered a story by Ruskin Bond called ‘The Cherry Tree’.
The Ruskin Bond connection:
This wonderful short story by Ruskin Bond tells the tale of young Rakesh and his experience with planting a cherry tree. In the course of the story, the tree gets eaten by a goat and cut by a woman while cutting grass, enduring hardships but living a full life. It thus echoes the Japanese philosophy that the sakura embodies both beauty and mortality.
The winding road around Dehradun and Mussoorie is flanked by these charming trees. Most people drive past them nonchalantly and locals think you are crazy when you get down from your car and start posing with the tree. Cherry blossoms range from white to pink. The ones we encountered were almost white with a pinkish tint.
Unlike the rest of the world, cherry blossoms bloom here around November instead of March-April. As of 2016, Shillong in the North East of India has started an autumn cherry blossom festival. It was the first of its kind in India. Although we really wanted to visit, our 2016 was fully planned. Meeting these delicate beauties made up for the regret we felt at missing it.Our first encounter with the delicate cherry blossoms in India! Click To Tweet
Cherry blossoms around the world:
Here are some glimpses of cherry blossom trees in different parts of the world. If you are planning a trip around March-April, you can like the Japanese, have picnics below the transient and exquisite cherry blossom. Hanami festivals celebrate the beauty of the cherry blossom and for many are a chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful view.
Photo Credit: Yong Thye
Photo Credit: Eugenijus Radlinskas
Photo Credit: Mr Hicks46
Photo Credit: calamity_sal
Photo Credit: susanfunk
Photo Credit: Ana Elisa Ribeiro
Have you been to any of these cherry blossom festivals? We would love to know what your experience was like. Let us know in the comments below.
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