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The Cherry Blossom Festival

The cherry blossom season is famous for Japan, attracting millions of local, regional and international visitors year by year, indulging in the vastly spread flowering trees and broad variety of species. But did you know that Sakura is also intensely flourishing in Taiwan? Every year between February and April, cherry blossoms are in full bloom across the island, and can be enjoyed in many different places. Here too, there is a diverse range of species, and much like their neighbors to the north, the Taiwanese people have also created a series of accompanying major events to celebrate the flowering season. Local customs and cultural characteristics include bathing in hot springs, or indulging in delicious cherry blossom cuisine, and much more.

While the majority of cherry species is originally from Japan, there is also a local kind called Formosan Cherry, or Bell-flower Cherry. It grows mainly in areas of 300 to 2,000 meters in altitude. Flowers in low altitude areas flower first, but flowers in mid-altitude areas will not do so before March. This native cherry is classified as a deciduous tree: Its flower is comprised of three to five tiny flowers and it blooms downwards. A bright red oval-shaped drupe fruit is formed, which changes to a red-black color when it becomes edible.

Another cherry species widely known in Taiwan is the Japanese Flowering Cherry, which blooms between March and May, and is found in mid-to-high altitude ranges of 2,000 to 3,000 meters. It is of pastel white color. The Taiwan Flowering Cherry is larger than the average cherry blossom: It has pink blossoms with multi-petals, and grows from a long stem.

Locations to watch and enjoy the cherry blossom season near Taipei are Wulai of New Taipei City, and Yangmingshan National Park. If you like to combine a travel to Taiwan’s mid-range or southern mountain ranges, you might want to see the cherry blossoms at Sun-Moon Lake or in the Alishan Forest Recreation Area of Chiayi County.

Cherry Blossom Festival at Sun-Moon Lake

Cherry Blossom Festival at Alishan Forest Recreation Area: