Best time to travel to Hawaii

Cherry Blossom in Hawaii

Japanese brought the cherry trees to Hawaii along with hanami tradition

Best time: mid-January–early March

Cherry Blossom
Cherry Blossom
Cherry Blossom

Even though in Hawaii you can see blooming flowers all year round, cherry blossom season is still a big event. Cherry trees burst into bloom throughout Hawaii in mid-January coloring streets and neighborhoods with pink hue till early March. The flowers are visible in Waimea on Big Island and Wahiawa on Oahu Island, where the climate is cold enough to create the right conditions for spring bloom. In Hawaii, the cherry season is closely connected with the Japanese culture and heritage. There are a few big festivals on the islands marking the hanami season.

The Big Island’s Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival has started in the 1990s as an attempt to showcase both Japanese and Hawaiian cultures. The festival takes place at Church Row Park (Ke Ola Mau Loa Church) in Waimea under the historic cherry trees blooming luxuriously from January to February. The first sakura trees of Church Row Park were planted in 1953 in honor of Fred Makino of the Hawaii Hochi. These are Formosan cherry trees that produce no fruit. In the 1970s more trees were added to mark the centennial celebration of Japanese immigration to Waimea.

Wahiawa on Oahu also boasts hundreds of cherry trees planted in the 1950s—the largest collection in Hawaii. Many of the trees are said to trace their roots to one tree brought from Okinawa. Oahu Island hosts two major cherry blossoms festivals— the annual Sakura Matsuri in Wahiawa in February and Big Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival in Honolulu in January-March. There is the Festival Ball, contests, art exhibitions, and more events at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii.

Practical info

Where can cherry blossom be viewed in Hawaii?

Hawaii is home to cherry blossom trees that paint the streets and neighborhoods pink during mid-January through early March. Waimea on Big Island and Wahiawa on Oahu Island boast the best conditions for spring bloom and are popular locations for cherry blossom viewing. Attendees can check out many historic collections at the Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival, held annually in Waimea. You can witness these beauty spots while following the hanami tradition and admiring the enchantment of cherry blossoms. Show more

What is the best time to visit Hawaii for cherry blossom viewing?

Mid-January through early March is cherry blossom season in Hawaii where people can witness the enchanting scenery of cherry blossom trees. Although the period may vary by location, the tourist bureaus or respective festival websites can provide specific blooming times about each location. The best way to enjoy nature's beauty is by following the hanami tradition and visiting the regions best known for providing the best conditions for spring bloom. Show more

What is the origin story of cherry trees in Hawaii?

The people of Hawaii are fortunate enough to have the beauty of cherry trees, thanks to Japanese immigrants in the early 1900s who brought the trees with them and began planting them in their new home. Some of these trees still grow today, and their blooming, which happens between mid-January and early March, showcases the beginning of spring in Hawaii. Besides providing natural beauty, these trees also signify the strong cultural ties between Japan and Hawaii. Show more

Where is the largest collection of cherry trees located in Hawaii?

Wahiawa, located on Oahu Island, is the place with the largest collection of cherry trees in Hawaii. The area has numerous trees, with some dating back to the 1950s and even some imported all the way from Okinawa. The famous Sakura Matsuri festival is held every February in Wahiawa, showcasing the blooming trees while other events such as gaming contests and art exhibitions take place. Honolulu's Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival held during mid-January through early March is a must-see for tourists and residents alike. Show more

What kinds of events occur during the cherry blossom season in Hawaii?

Numerous events such as contests, art exhibitions, balls, and cultural displays are held every year during the cherry blossom season in Hawaii. Tourists and residents can enjoy the events varied from the Big Island's Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival in Waimea to the Sakura Matsuri festival in Wahiawa, with contests and art exhibitions happening. These events are rich in both Japanese and Hawaiian cultures, making it a must-see experience when visiting Hawaii. For more information, visit the local tourism bureaus or the respective festivals' official websites. Show more

Ask a question

Find hotels and airbnbs near Cherry Blossom (Map)

Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin