Sakura Blooms in Gardens By The Bay: Experience the Magic of Japan in Singapore!

A delicate fragrance fills the air. A soft pink hue envelops the surroundings. Streets come alive in the light of day and the dark of night, with the soft rustle of these flowers filling the air. Traditional tea houses and cafes are adorned with this stunning flora, offering a serene refuge for those seeking a moment of quiet reflection amidst the bustling crowds. Oh, it’s that time of year – Sakura is in bloom! Families gather, couples gallivant, and children giggle amidst the tranquillity of this gorgeous floral. Japan has come to life!

Sakura Gardens By The Bay 2024: Sakura Tree
Sorry, did we say Japan? We meant Gardens By The Bay. But they sound similar, don’t they? No? Oh, well!

Alas, we are not in Japan, and we do not get to experience the magic of Sakura. Apologies for this heartbreaking introduction, but being in April still means it’s April Fools for us! So, April Fools! Nonetheless, we call a truce. In return, we will tell you where you can get a feel of Sakura right here in Singapore. Oh yes! You can get a taste of the Sakura season at Gardens By The Bay’s Flower Dome for their Sakura: Blossom Into The Night exhibition! From now till 21 April, this exhibition is all yours to experience!

This stunning display has been timed to match the actual bloom happening in Japan right now. So, if you can’t get on a flight, then you can surely get on a train, bus or car to experience Sakura in bloom at Gardens By The Bay! 

Sakura Gardens By The Bay 2024: yozakura
Fall for the charm of the ‘yozakura’ – night Sakura – for the first time in Singapore!

The amazing part about this unique exhibition is that, for the first time, the Sakura display will be a day-to-night experience. This means that when the sun goes down, and the moonlight fills the sky, the Flower Dome mimics the streets of Japan, where the Sakura breathes life into the night. It’s a sight to behold – witnessing the allure of the Sakura transform and magnify in the darkness but watching it shine bright, regardless. Be sure to come sometime in the evening to catch the day, the sunset, and the moonlit night with the Sakura shining under the stars.

This year’s floral display features more than 140 cherry blossom trees of over 40 varieties, including some iconic florals making their comeback in the dome – the classic Prunus Accolade, known for its abundant clusters of pink blooms, Prunus Kiku Shidare with its distinctive weeping form, and Prunus Pendula Rubra which has an umbrella form and bears deep pink to red flowers. You will also get to see a new European plum blossom species, Prunus domestica, which stands out with its white to pale pink flowers. 

Sakura Gardens By The Bay 2024: Sakura
A new kid on the block: the white Prunus Domestica!

Amid the flowers that feel like the main act of the display, bat an eyelash or two at the mesmerising architectural elements specially designed to give you the authentic feel of Japan. The essence of Kyoto is conveyed through a traditional thatched house like those from Miyama Village, known for its peaceful, old-world charm. You will also find elements of Japanese gardens that will complement the visual feast of Sakura – an engawa, a contemplative veranda found in traditional homes; soak in the soothing sounds of a sozu, a bamboo water fountain. 

But taking centre stage in this magnificent exhibition is Kyoto’s iconic Kinkakuji Temple! Built closely to mimic this must-see piece of Kyoto, you’d easily fool any of your friends and followers into thinking you’re right there (as we did). This is among the many fragments of Japan and its culture showcased beautifully at the Flower Dome, including stunning red umbrellas scattered around the flowers, a set-up of a traditional tea ceremony, and more!

Sakura Gardens By The Bay 2024: Kinkakuji Temple
The Kinkakuji Temple replica takes your breath away!

However, one of the most breathtaking parts of this exhibition is the Singapore touch that never fails to add a little extra pizzazz. As night falls, projections transform the ground of the Flower Dome into a koi-filled stream or a street where a gentle breeze teases fallen Sakura petals. This dynamic movement against the backdrop of these stunning pieces of Japan creates an immersive experience that only Singapore can deliver.

But more than the spectacular Sakura display, this exhibition celebrates Japanese culture. Gardens By The Bay offers Japanese cultural programmes on selected weekends to give you the full taste of Japan as if you were right there (sorry to rub salt in your wound!). 

One that you can still catch in April is the Japanese Tea Ceremony! Also known as Chanoyu or Chado, it involves the ceremonial preparation and serving of matcha and a Japanese sweet. Having witnessed a live demonstration of this, let me tell you, I was enamoured. There’s something about appreciating a simple task like preparing a cup of tea that had me in awe of the Japanese culture. When have we ever slowed down to simply appreciate? You cannot miss this programme! Happening this weekend on 6 and 7 April, you can catch it every hour on the hour, from 11am to 2pm, with each session lasting 45 minutes.

Sakura Gardens By The Bay 2024: Tea Ceremony
Japan brings you a piece of itself through this lovely ceremony.

Gardens By The Bay just never stops giving. There’s another gift they present to us all – an opportunity. And that, too, is a huge one. Do you want to go to Japan? This is your chance. Win a pair of economy class tickets to anywhere in Japan in a contest brought to you by All Nippon Airways (ANA)! All you have to do is scan the contest QR code at the Sakura floral display to answer a simple question, and you’ll stand a chance to win! So, come on, you have to go!

Note that only one entry per registered ANA member is permitted and is open to Singapore residents aged 18 and above.

Nonetheless, the launch of the Sakura exhibition was a dream. In attendance was the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for National Development and Finance, Ms Indranee Rajah, Ambassador of Japan to Singapore, His Excellency Hiroshi Ishikawa, Gardens by the Bay Chairman, Mr Niam Chiang Meng and Gardens by the Bay CEO, Mr Felix Loh. Together, these VIPs opened the Sakura floral display with the traditional breaking of a sake barrel.

To celebrate the launch, Gardens By The Bay also saw the return of the Anime Garden after four years. We only wish it was a longer affair, and we got to see it extend beyond a weekend. Nonetheless, it was an affair to remember, with appearances by regional cosplay artists such as Baobao and Thames Malerose and an exciting concert line-up of Japanese artists, including

legendary Anisong singer Hiroshi Kitadani. We hope to see it back again soon!

Sakura Gardens By The Bay 2024: Lanterns
The touch of Japan goes beyond the flowers and architecture; it’s all in the details!

Sakura is in bloom, my dearest readers, and it awaits your marvel. Beauty has blossomed in the heart of Singapore, the garden city. It deserves your awe and admiration. It might not be Japan, but Gardens By The Bay really played the part and is ready to blow your mind. So, go right ahead, Singapore! Sakura is in bloom!

Sakura: Blossom Into The Night

Sakura Gardens By The Bay 2024: Light Projections
The projections, the fragrance, the aura of the Sakura!

🗓️Dates: Till 21 April 2024
📍Location: 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Flower Dome, Gardens By The Bay, Singapore 018953
Opening Hours: 9am to 9pm

The Sakura display is a beauty for your eyes to behold! Check it out now, and while you’re at it, stay tuned to Gardens By The Bay’s official website and their Instagram and TikTok socials for the latest updates so you don’t miss a thing!

Photos by Leo Chia of the DANAMIC Team.

Baani Kaur

Aspiring to achieve great heights like every human in the world, but till then, enjoy the most dramatic and sarcastic person you will ever read from.

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