The whole notion of going to see cherry blossoms has really exploded in the past several years. I imagine Instagram has something to do with that, and perhaps the growing desire everyone has for spring to “get here” which grows more intense with each year. There’s something to be said for that need to see new, to see “pretty”… With all the things that are decidedly less pretty in our world coming through all those same channels and sources, there’s more urgency to counteract them with something that is restorative, rather than destructive.
I recently read that there’s a japanese word called “Hanami“, which I had never heard of. It basically refers to appreciating the fleeting beauty of blossoms and flowers, usually cherry blossoms. People in Japan will set aside time to go and view the trees and blossoms, often going with family and friends and a picnic. Maybe Hanami is what we have been searching for in the rest of the world all this time with our countless Instagram snaps?
Hanami: the traditional Japanese custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers.”
The word is such a beautiful way to capture what I think we’re all looking for regardless of where we are. After the last couple of years, we’ve found quite a few pretty corners of cherry blossoms here in Copenhagen (so much so that I wonder how we’ll fare next year when we’re back in DC, even with the Tidal Basin!). If you’re needing a little Hanami in your life, catch these blossoms before they fly away in the next days. I promise you’ll be glad you did.
The grand-daddy of them all, when 99% of people talk about cherry blossoms in Copenhagen, they are talking about the Bispebjerg Cemetery. Which also means that there is a chance that 99% of Copenhagen will join you to see them. Be prepared for crowds, but still, there are ways to make it feel more intimate. Aim for early in the morning, and aim for a weekday if you can. Pair your visit with a walk in the rest of the cemetery and the Grundtvig Kirke, both of which are beautiful and less visited in everyone’s mad rush to see the blooms. But even with a thousand people in it, the blossoms that come together in the beautiful arch over the lane are quite special (and this weekend, it was paired with snow coming down too – special in its own right).
LANGELINIE PARK AT KASTELLET
I have to confess of all the places to see the blooms, this is my favorite. They peak a little bit later than at the cemetery, and the park is also home to the Sakura Festival (nb: next weekend!) that highlights all sorts of traditional Japanese dance, music, and even mochi (yum). The festival draws crowds but similar to the above, if you aim for earlier (or late) in the day, especially on a weekday, you have a pretty high chance of seeing the vast expanse of blooms without hordes in them. If you can swing one of the generic boat tours of Copenhagen or even grab a goBoat, the blooms in the park look especially lovely from the water – it seems like a ginormous slightly pink-hued cloud of cotton candy descended over the park.
Dragon Boat Lake at Tivoli
This was a new find for me this year , but there are several cherry blossom trees in bloom at Tivoli. It’s not nearly as many as in the first two locations, but it is a strategically placed sprinkling around the Dragon Boat lake and Chinese pagoda, which give is a unique frame. If you aim for closer to sunset, the crowds at Tivoli have thinned considerably and there are lovely pictures to be had from the little bridge crossing the lake with the boats in the background.
Botanical Gardens/Botanisk Have
While there is no set cherry blossom grove here in the botanical gardens, there is handful of individual trees that you’ll find around the gardens, mostly towards the entrance coming from Norreport. On any lovely day there will be people in the park but not necessarily all hovering around the cherry blossom trees since these are just one of the many treasures in the Botanical Garden. If you just want a few blooms overhead, this is great place to set up camp for a little picnic or a game of catch with your littles, with just the right touch of pink swaying overhead in the breeze.
Pin It For Later?