If Japan is on your bucket list, there’s at least a strong chance that you’re thinking of going during cherry blossom season.
At least that’s what Lesa Clarkson, the Japan specialist at Asia-focused travel outfitter ATJ, says of the people who call her up looking for advice. “It’s an obsession,” echoed fellow bespoke travel agent Duff Trimble, founder of Wabi-Sabi Japan, who pointed out that it’s not just Americans and Canadians and international travelers that are interested in heading to Kyoto for peak pink: It’s the Japanese, too.
Those romantic visions of Japanese temples flanked by pretty petals and canopies of blooming trees along tranquil riverbanks? They’re pretty hard to replicate in real life — not just because timing is unreliable and the season is short, but because those perfectly-hued views come hand in hand with elbow-to-elbow crowds.