Right on time, every spring, thousands of cherry trees bloom in the streets and parks of Berlin.
The Berliners, taking advantage of the first proper sunny days of the season, follow these clouds of pink petals around the city. Social networks are flooded with photos of cherry trees in bloom, and lists of places to go see them: from Prenzlauerberg to Marzahn, from Wedding to Lichterfelde… Wherever you choose to go, you won’t be disappointed!
The blooming of Berlin’s cherry trees is an event to be celebrated at the huge Gärten der Welt, in the Britzer Garten, or in Lichterfelde, in the Japanische Ecke. This is where the Hanami-Fest is celebrated every year. The word ‘hanami’ in Japanese means to admire the cherry blossom.
The story of the Berlin cherry trees begins with the Fall of the Wall in 1989.
The Japanese donated cherry trees to the city as a symbol of peace and rebirth. In Japan, the cherry tree traditionally symbolises rebirth. as it blooms so magnificently in Spring. The cherry blossom is called Sakura, and it was thanks to the Sakura Campaign, that more than ten thousand cherry trees have been planted in Berlin and Brandenburg. The first ones were planted as early as 1990 along the Glienicke Bridge, the ‘spy bridge’.
Along the former border between West Berlin and the GDR in the south of the city, between the Lichterfelde and Teltow districts, is the Japanese Corner with the Kirschblutenallee (the ‘Cherry Avenue’), where more than a thousand trees have been planted in two rows. Although the traditional Hanami festival will not take place in 2021, you can’t miss the blossoming: the foreseen date for it is on 24–26 April.
As a proper reporter, I’ve been there just yesterday, and can’t wait to be back in a few days,to see it in all its pink glory.
To reach the Kirschblutenallee, get off at the Lichterfelde-Süd stop on the S25. Go straight into the park and turn right. Follow the path and you will suddenly find yourself surrounded by a cloud of pink petals. The Japanese corner is bordered by fields as far as the eye can see, inviting you to take long, quiet walks; the presence of the Mauerweg also means that you can enjoy a nice bike ride.
NOTE: All photos are mine and cannot be used without my permission.