Spring has sprung in the northern hemi and with it, nature’s most anticipated show of the year: Sakura. The tradition of admiring fluffy-pink cherry blossoms is embraced across Tokyo – read on for the hanami hot spots and happenings. Plus, what’s on in New York, Los Angeles and Milan.
Hanami is happening early this year – if you’re in town and keen to join the party, eye up the painstaking 2019 bloom forecast then prepare to hustle for the best picnic spot among some of our favourite sakura scenes: the peaceful Aoyama Cemetery, family-friendly Shinjuku Gyoengardens, romantic Imperial Palace moat Chidorigafuchi, and the tree-lined pond in Inokashira Park. Be sure to arm yourself with the LUXE Tokyo guide, which contains a dedicated sakura itinerary.
Cherry blossoms are even more magical by night, especially the ancient weeping cherry tree that headlines Rikugien illumination (until 3 April). ‘Gram updated, seek warm respite in one of The Ritz-Carlton’s clear, heated igloos perched underneath the blooms as part of Midtown’s Chandon Blossom Lounge (until 14 April). Following on from spring’s floral sensations is Craft Sake Week Roppongi Hills (19-29 Apr) where you can sip your way around Japan via its finest craft tipples in a buzzy alfresco space – food stalls are on hand to soak up the spirits.
Pining Nipponphiles in New York need not feel left out – simply skip over to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to join the Sakura Matsuri cherry blossom festival (27-28 April). Tickets are free but need to be booked in advance.
While in NYC, don’t miss out on the star-studded indie Tribeca Film Festival (24 April-5 May), taking place at venues across the city.
Music and arts fest Coachella (12-14 and 19-21 April) takes the stage at Empire Polo Club Indio; this year’s headliners include Grammy-winners Childish Gambino and Ariana Grande, plus Tame Impala, Janelle Monae, Diplo and Khalid. Tickets have all been snapped up, though waitlist is available. If you’re headed to town for either weekend, seek out some of the superb shutterbugs on show as part of The Month of Photography.
Any style queen worth their Armani knows that fashion week aside, Salon del Mobile (9-14 April) is Milan’s supremo social affair with more than 2,000 international exhibitors, design buffs and buyers descending for the world’s largest design fair. The city-wide spectacle of art, fashion and architecture is matched with a showcase of some 1,000 events, plus parties galore.
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