BLOSSOM: Having only two seasons in the Philippines means we don’t really get to see much change in the greenery that surrounds us.
It’s always humid and always green, which (as beautiful as it is) can be a little stagnant sometimes. Further north, trees and plants change into some of the most amazing displays of nature that the world has to offer.
In particular cherry blossoms! Found from Taiwan up to northern China these spectacular flowers turn the surroundings into a pink candyfloss-like wonderland making it seem almost edible. The best place to see this? Japan of course!
This is not a new phenomenon with tourists coming from all over to witness this spectacle. Have you ever wanted to see this, but didn’t really want to brave the epic crowds of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka?
Well, if you go just outside of Tokyo to the mountain-set town of Nikko you are bound to be surrounded by endless pink beauty with less of the hassle than the main touristic spots.
Our favourite spot is Nikkokaido, which features a 16km long natural tree tunnel made up of more than 1,500 cherry blossoms. Ever seen the movie ‘Spirited Away’? well this will truly transport you to a magical place that makes you feel like you’ve stepped straight into Japanese art heaven.
Due to Nikko’s altitude of 1,000 metres above sea level it makes it one of the best places in Japan to see it, as the season runs slightly longer. Beginning in mid-April these blossoms shoot to life until May with the timeframe varying depending on the altitude.
The viewing spots in Nikko are easily accessed by the JR train from Tokyo, with some being only 15 minutes from the station.
In addition to the flowers, the rivers and forests spring to life as the snow melt turns streams into rivers lined with purple azaleas. If you’re one for hiking among pristine forests lined with spectacular colours then Nikko is a must see! Our pick for hiking is to the Ryuzu Falls just outside of Nikko.
If you’re in need of a getaway and want to experience true peacefulness then this spot is sure to satisfy your urge to unwind.