Many people travel across the globe to Japan in order to enjoy hanami – the viewing of cherry trees blossoming. And it’s no wonder. Cherry trees in full bloom are absolutely spectacular in all their stunning pink glory.
But did you know that you can enjoy this gorgeous springtime phenomena in Finland as well? Roihuvuori’s Japanese style Cherry Park, Kirsikkapuisto, offers cotton candy magic every spring. Perfect for photo shoots, picnics and leisurely strolls.
Visiting this park during hanami is a must for all flower lovers out there – here’s a guide with all you need to know!
Pink Magic In Helsinki
Heading towards Roihuvuori’s Cherry Park, you might not expect something so beautiful to appear. This suburban area in East Helsinki is perhaps not the most visually appealing part of Finland’s capital. There’s a lot of grey concrete, warehouses and boxlike buildings.
Yet, here it is: one of the prettiest sights you’ll see – over 150 cherry trees in full bloom! Every year in May these cherry trees burst into gorgeous pink clouds of blossom attracting thousands of visitors.
The pink blossom is beautiful from whichever angle you’re watching – up close admiring one individual flower or from a distance seeing the blossom form a grand pink canopy.
Photo Shoots and Picnics in the Cherry Park
The beauty of Roihuvuori’s hanami is something many want to enjoy. The park is a popular place to go for a picnic or a walk during hanami.
Even more popular however is doing all kinds of photo shoots here. The gorgeous pink backdrop looks amazing in different portraits and you’ll see everything from pets and babies to fashion models and Instagram influencers posing here.
Of course many also come just to photograph the beauty of the flowers themselves and the park in all its springtime glory.
A Brief History of Roihuvuori’s Cherry Park
In 2005, Norio Tomida – a Japanese businessman living in Helsinki – presented the idea of a Sakura Park in Helsinki. He’d been living in Finland for a long time and seen many Finnish people travel all the way to Japan for hanami.
His vision was that the Japanese community in Finland would donate cherry trees for the park. In total 152 trees were planted during three years from 2007-2009. You’ll find more information about the donators here (in Finnish).
Hanami Festival Since 2008
No Sakura Park without hanami, so since 2008 there’s been an annual hanami festival. The festival usually showcases different elements of the Japanese culture and it culminates in presenting the official Cherry Blossom Princess and Queen, or Sakura Princess and Queen.
This year, in 2020, due to the global pandemic situation, the festival was cancelled.
You’ll find more information about the festival here (in Finnish).
When To Visit the Cherry Park
The park is always a nice place to visit, but for most people the yearly highlight is hanami. This occurs during spring, usually around mid-May. As weather and temperatures vary a lot in Finland in May the exact dates are hard to predict.
However, once the trees do burst into bloom you need to be quick. Depending on weather this beautiful spectacle can be over fast. On the other hand, if it’s not too windy and there’s no rain, visitors might be able to enjoy hanami even for over a week.
The cherry trees are beautiful in autumn as well, when the green leaves turn red.
As the wonderful pink spectacle lasts only a fleeting moment, everyone seems to visit at once. If the weather happens to be warm and sunny the park will be full of people.
To avoid the worst rush hours, steer clear of weekends and evenings. Get to the park early in the morning and you might be able to find some nice spots all to yourself.
Thankfully the park is pretty spacious. Especially if you’re fine with admiring the trees from a distance the crowds might not bother you.
However, during this corona spring if you’re part of any of the risk groups, I’d avoid the park altogether, just to be on the safe side. And in case you are sick or have any covid-19 symptoms, please stay at home for safety of others.
How to Get to the Cherry Park in Roihuvuori
Getting to the park is not difficult. It’s easy to access by public transportation as buses pass nearby and Hakaniemi metro station isn’t far way. There’s also a station for the city bikes not too far way. You’ll find the stations here.
If you’re arriving by car you can park by the side of the road (it’s called Sahaajankatu).
The exact address for the park is Jättiläisenpolku 1, but most navigators will also find Roihuvuoren Kirsikkapuisto. If you’re arriving by car Sahaajankatu 8 is right by the park.
Fast Facts About Roihuvuoren Kirsikkapuisto or the Cherry Park
Here are the most important facts in a nutshell:
- The Cherry Park is located in Roihuvuori in East Helsinki
- In Finnish the park is called Roihuvuoren Kirsikkapuisto
- The exact address for the park is Sahaajankatu 8 or Jättiläisenpolku 1, but for most navigators you can just type Roihuvuoren Kirsikkapuisto.
- You can visit the park 24/7 and there’s no entry fee.
- Dogs and pets are allowed (but should be kept on leash).
- The park is easy to access by both public transportation and by car.
- There’s a gravel road through the park so it’s easy to access with a stroller or pram.
- To enjoy hanami, visit during mid-May, when the cherry blossom will be at its best.