Sakura alternatives: Flower bloomings from all over the world
Spring is in
The perfect backdrop for photographs and possibly one of the most popular flower seasons in the world, Sakura (also known as cherry blossoms) bloomings bring a steady stream of people from all over the world to Japan. The beauty of the Sakura season is admired not just for its pastel pink flowers hanging off trees but more so for their falling petals that lend both an aesthetic appeal and deeper philosophical meaning — 'the pathos of things', or the beauty in the passing — that is celebrated by the Japanese.
But if you've grown tired of this said annual event (especially apparent on your Instagram feed), peer into the other flower fields around the world. Spring is coming, and it's certainly in full bloom in other parts of the world.
Keukenhof gardens, Netherlands
Probably one of the most well-known flower gardens in the world, the Keukenhof garden is a sight to behold with over 800 different types of tulips. In full bloom, the entire field of seven million bulbs turns into a plethora of different colours and shades. Also known as the Garden of Europe, there's more to do than just tulip admiration — there are flower shows for the younger ones and statues adorned all over the gardens. When in the Netherlands, do what the Dutch do — rent a bike and explore the tulip fields.
Best time to catch: Mid-April
Lavender fields, France
If scenic drives are your thing, the Lavender fields in Provence should be the next destination on your travel itinerary. Surrounded by endless rows of tall and lush lavender, drive past some of the most picturesque villages in the country. Navigate to the village of Valensole where they host the annual Fete de la Lavande, to celebrate the season with a festive gathering of food and activities.
Best time to catch: Mid-June to mid-July
Sunflower fields, Italy
The Leaning Tower of Pisa might be the most iconic representation of Italy but the sunflower fields in Tuscany deserves just as much attention. You can spot medieval villages nestled in the field of sunny yellow flowers and on hilltops. Explore the countryside by renting a car or riding a bike as they provide the best opportunity to discover quieter areas and snap postcard-worthy pictures. Do take note that following the rules of crop rotation, the blooming of sunflower fields changes every year — it might be earlier or later than the previous year.
Best time to catch: Mid-June to Mid-August
Hitachi Seaside Park, Japan
Not limited to a season, visitors to Hitachi Seaside Park will be greeted with different flowers throughout the four seasons. With tulips fully bloomed in Spring and baby blue-eyes in early summer, to zinnia in summer and cosmos in autumn. Other attractions include a small amusement park with over 25 rides, a 100-meter ferris wheel and a BMX course. If you are visiting in Spring, be sure to witness the iconic blue nemophila flowers that engulfs the entire Miharashi Hill.
Best time to catch: Late April to early May
Canola flower fields, China
The farmlands in Luoping county transforms into a sea of gold with canola flowers. Contrasted with the dark hills in the backdrop, you could say this is a photographer's haven. Attracting more than tourists, bees make their way to the canola flowers every year — with their keepers setting up tents in the fields and making honey products. For one of the best views of the golden meadow, make your way to Lingyi temple that is situated on one of the hills.
Best time to catch: February to March