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Cherry blossoms are ablaze now! Here’s where to see the best in the Bay Area

Cherry blossoms bloom at Filoli. | Courtesy Jim Allen for Filoli

For a few special weeks in March and April, the trees turn pink in many parks and yards around the Bay Area. And this year’s cold temperatures and heavy rains have caused an explosion of cherry blossoms to arrive along with the first weeks of spring.

In Japan, locals celebrate hanami by spreading out blankets and picnicking under the blooming cherry trees, with the blossoms falling like snow into their Sapporos.

In San Francisco, we celebrate sakura season at Japantown’s Cherry Blossom Festival, running April 8-9 and April 15-16. As one of the city’s oldest ethnic neighborhoods, the street fair delivers a legit matsuri experience, with authentic snacks, dancing, drums, crafts and tea ceremonies.

Cherry blossoms bloom in front of the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. | Courtesy Saxon Holt for the SF Botanical Garden

An hour south of San Francisco in Saratoga, the century-old Hakone Estate offers a unique chance to see these gorgeous trees at night against a backdrop of historic Japanese-style architecture.

Night viewing of cherry blossoms takes place at Hakone Estate in Saratoga. | Courtesy Hakone Estate

On the map and list below, The Standard details 10 other fabulous spots to head out and see cherry blossoms in bloom today—or sometime soon, because this natural spectacle only lasts a few weeks. 

Best Places To See Cherry Blossoms in SF Bay Area

Dougherty Station Library Parking Lot

17017 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon

Filoli Estate and Gardens

86 Cañada Road, Woodside

Hakone Estate and Gardens

21000 Big Basin Way, Saratoga

Hayward Japanese Garden

22373 North Third St., Hayward

Japanese Friendship Garden

1300 Senter Road, San Jose

Japanese Peace Plaza, Japantown SF

1610 Geary Blvd., San Francisco

Japanese Tea Garden

75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco

Lindley Meadow, Golden Gate Park

1000 John F. Kennedy Drive, San Francisco

Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

Japantown, San Francisco | April 8-9 & April 15-16

Palace of Fine Arts

3601 Lyon St., San Francisco

Rancho San Ramon Community Park

1998 Rancho Park Loop Road, San Ramon

UC Berkeley West Entrance

University Avenue at Oxford Street, Berkeley

Shelley D. Fargo contributed additional research for this story.