One of the highlights of May in Toronto is “Sakura Hanami”, or the viewing of the cherry blossoms, in High Park. Toronto isn’t the first city one thinks of when thinking about cherry blossoms—that would probably be Kyoto, Japan.
And Sakura's bloom later in the season here than in other cities. My sister and her husband recently traveled to Washington, DC. As Toronto was being pelted with freezing rain and wind, they were basking in warm breezes and fragrant cherry trees.
But Torontonians will eventually enjoy a beautiful cherry blossom display. High Park has quite a few cherry trees, part of a gift in 1959 to Toronto from the city of Tokyo in appreciation for their support of relocated Japanese-Canadians after the Second World War, according to the Toronto website. Since then, more trees have been added throughout the years as part of the “Sakura Project.”
Thousands of visitors come to the park every spring for Sakura Hanami. You can even track the progress of the blooms at the Sakura in High Park website’s Sakura Watch page to plan your visit during peak bloom time.
Last year I went with my partner on a Friday night and we ate sushi under the cherry trees. It was a little cool, but very pretty, with the white blossoms under the pink sky of the sunset, and lots of families and couples taking photos and enjoying the park.
It was the perfect setting for a romantic scene, perhaps for a Heartwarming book!
Is spring coming to your part of the world? Or have you been enjoying it for weeks? What signs of spring do you anticipate the most?