Sakura Time in Istanbul

In our recent history, it is known that the late Barış Manço (the best singer in Turkey) instilled the love of Japan. However, contrary to popular belief, our ties with the Japanese date back to much earlier dates. Dear Barış Abi, on the other hand, has further consolidated this existing love. You can see Japanese Sakura (Cherry) Trees that herald the arrival of spring in 3 different botanical gardens in Istanbul.

Sakura Time in Istanbul
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Sakura Tree

Sakura Tree is a Japanese plant whose story goes back centuries. Sakura is a Japanese tradition that lives on even today. It means the fine line between death and life. It’s like staying in limbo. In fact, as in the Yin Yang teaching, Sakura is the cycle of life and death, chasing each other.

Sakura Tree literally means “Cherry Blossom” in Japanese. There are dozens of different species of the Sakura plant. The blooming of Japanese Cherry (Sakura) trees is called “Sakura Zensen“.

Sakura trees have a fairytale appearance when they bloom between the last week of March and the first week of April every year. Even the flowers falling under the trees or on the roads create a visual scene at this time of the year.

When Does the Sakura Tree Bloom?

In Turkey, or more precisely in Istanbul, Sakura trees have a fairytale-like appearance when they bloom between the last week of March and the first weeks of April every year. Even the flowers falling under the trees or on the roads create a visual sight at this time of the year.

Sakura Trees Bloom Dates:
Between March 29 and April 10 in 2021,
Between April 1 and April 14 in 2022,
In 2023, between March 25 and April 10,

Sakura trees are in bloom in Istanbul.

Considering the average of the last 3 years, Japanese Flowers in Istanbul bloom every year between the last week of March and the first week of April.

• Sakura Time in Istanbul
Sakura Flowers in Istanbul

Where is Sakura Garden in Istanbul?

There are a total of 3 Japanese gardens, one of which was opened first on the Anatolian side of Istanbul and then two on the European side. There are many Sakura Trees in these Japanese gardens.

1. Nezahat Gökyiğit Botanical Garden, Ümraniye

Nezahat Gökyiğit Botanical Garden is the place where Sakura Trees are found and produced on the Anatolian side. You can see many Japanese Cherry Trees in the Ertuğrul Island section of the botanical park, also known as NGBB, located between Ümraniye and Ataşehir districts. Map:

Also, if you are wondering about the very special story of Sakura Trees here, you should definitely read our Nezahat Gökyiğit Botanical Park article.

2. Baltalimanı Japanese Garden, Sarıyer

If you are looking for Sakura Trees on the European side of Istanbul, your address will be Baltalimanı Japanese Garden. In the Japanese Garden in Sarıyer district, you can see wooden houses with traditional Japanese architecture, stone sculptures and of course, a large number of Sakura Trees.

When you go to Baltalimanı Japanese Garden, which has a stagnant artificial stream in the middle, especially in spring, you will witness a wonderful view of nature. You will feel like you are in Japan for a moment. You will be immersed in the pink and lilac colored leaves of Japanese Cherries (Sakura), the harbinger of spring, for minutes.

İstanbul Japon Bahçesi
Baltalimanı Japanese Garden

Abroad, I witnessed a very beautiful example of Japanese gardens in Cologne, Germany. It was a very large Japanese Garden, both in terms of area and endemic plant diversity. Would you like to read the article about the Cologne Japanese Garden?

3. Emirgan Grove, Sariyer

There are 2 Sakura trees on the entrance road of the White Mansion within the historical Emirgan Woods in Sarıyer, Istanbul. In fact, these trees are the oldest sakura tree in Turkey. You can see the tallest sakura tree in our country while leaving the White Mansion and heading towards the Yellow Mansion.

Interesting Story of Sakura Tree

The story of the Sakura tree, which has a very special place in Japanese folk culture, is just as special. Sakura is the symbol of life that points to a miraculous life. It symbolizes human life because its flowers are slowly opening and pouring in a short time. It is a symbol of both death and a new beginning.

In fact, according to local belief, Samurai, who are Japanese warriors, can shed like a sakura flower during the war, even if they are in the most productive period of their lives. With this teaching, the Samurai are aware that they are face to face with death at any moment.

This short life of Sakura Flower is also identified with human life. Another belief is that when Japanese warriors die, they will die suddenly, without any pain, just like a sakura flower.

During the Second World War, Japanese kamikaze pilots also gave their lives as a requirement of this belief. Also, every pilot who died believed that he would be reborn like a Sakura flower. In other words, he thought that he would be born again in another body with reincarnation.

Japonya Sakura Festivali
Japan’s Traditional Tree Sakura

Sakura tree, which is considered both mystical and sacred for Japan, is welcomed with different events and festivals every year. For example, at this time of the year, TV channels provide information about the latest status of sakura flowers, as well as the weather forecast.

Frequently Asked Questions About Sakura Tree

When Does a Sakura Tree Bloom?

The bloom date of the Japanese Cherry Tree Sakura plant varies according to seasonal conditions and altitude. It coincides with different times in every city in Japan. It usually blooms in late March and early April.

Ceremonies, festivals and religious rituals begin simultaneously with the blooming event called “Sakura Zensen“.

In Turkey, Sakura Trees in Istanbul bloom close to the dates in Japan. Japanese Cherries, which usually bloom between April 1 and April 10, are worth seeing at this time of the year.

What Does Sakura Mean?

Sakura means Cherry Blossom in Japanese. Sakura, which also heralds the arrival of spring, has an important place in Japanese belief.

Does Sakura Grow in Turkey?

Sakura Tree, which is a Japanese plant, can live in humid and temperate climates due to its structure. Therefore, he can live in Turkey. Its examples can be found in two different Botanical Parks in Istanbul. It is possible to come across several different species of Sakura Tree in NGBB and Baltalimanı Japanese Garden.

Is Sakura’s Flower or Fruit Edible?

Sakura flowers are dried by salting and poured hot water on them and drunk as “Sakura Cha“, or Sakura Tea.

She also gave her name to the rice dessert “Sakura Mochi“.

It is also used as a bag to carry food called Hanami Bento.

Interesting Information About Sakura

We searched for the topics that travel lovers are most curious about Sakura.

  • Sakura is also the name of a city in Japan. The population of Sakura city, located near Tokyo, is approximately 200,000 people.
  • Sakura is also used as a female name. It is also a very popular name in Japan.
  • Because it has a sacred value, it is permissible to export the seed of the Sakura Tree outside of Japan. It was sent to only a few countries in good faith. Among these countries is Turkey.
  • Sakura Trees are not found in Atatürk Arboretum or Belgrad Forest.

Buğra Karabulut
I set out to return home from my last trip. But I still haven't found my way home. I traveled around the land, if I wrote, volumes of books. Even though I cannot be an Evliya Çelebi, I will travel again. Here it is in my story.

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