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.
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.
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.
17017 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon
86 Cañada Road, Woodside
21000 Big Basin Way, Saratoga
22373 North Third St., Hayward
1300 Senter Road, San Jose
1610 Geary Blvd., San Francisco
75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco
1000 John F. Kennedy Drive, San Francisco
Japantown, San Francisco | April 8-9 & April 15-16
3601 Lyon St., San Francisco
1998 Rancho Park Loop Road, San Ramon
University Avenue at Oxford Street, Berkeley
Shelley D. Fargo contributed additional research for this story.
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