Three Amazing Spots for Cherry Blossom Viewing in Taipei

March 20, 2021

Cherry Blossom Season in Taipei

I’ve always had a thing for cherry blossoms. I don’t really know why or how or when it began. I just know that they stop me in my tracks every time, flooded with pure delight. To see a cherry blossom in full bloom is to step utterly into the present moment, savoring the simplicity of being in all its sensual wonder. Japan is most famous for its long-held Hanami (flower viewing) custom during sakura season, when friends and family gather together to picnic under the blooms. The tradition has spread to neighboring countries, Taiwan included. Each year many travelers embark on a journey to see the grandest cherry blossoms they can set their sights on. The bloom’s fleeting nature serves as a metaphor for life, providing an opportunity to reflect on and appreciate each ephemeral moment.

This year, I am embarrassed to admit, it took me a while and several cherry blossom encounters to realize that the season is now. And so, coming to the tail end of the season (at least in northern Taiwan), I set out this week to capture as many Hanami moments as I could to share with you. I chose several renowned places in Taipei for cherry blossom viewing: Yangmingshan National Park (and specifically, Yangming Park), Dongfang Temple, and Lane 42, Pingjing St. Let’s jump right in! I hope you’re ready to see some pictures of cherry blossoms!

Yangming Park

Each year Yangmingshan hosts a Flower Festival to celebrate the spring blooms, this year lasting from February 5th until March 21st. Typically there are events to attend – opening ceremonies, flea markets and various performances. However this year, due to COVID-19 regulations, such events were cancelled. No matter, there was still much to enjoy! This is the perfect place if you plan to go all out and have a picnic (I did, and there are lots of lovely places to sit). Yangming Park has plenty of beautiful spring flowers. Not only cherry blossoms, but also a stunning array of camellia, azalea, peach and plum blossoms. The park has planted several different types of cherry blossoms that bloom at different times, extending the viewing window. First bloomers are the Taiwan Cherry and Yaezakura, followed by the Yoshino (pictured below). If you go to Yangming Park in the future, I’d recommend going earlier in the season (not in the last week like me!) – as you can see from the photos, I missed the prime-time for blooms. It was still fabulous.

This year, I am embarrassed to admit, it took me a while and several cherry blossom encounters to realize that the season is now. And so, coming to the tail end of the season (at least in northern Taiwan), I set out this week to capture as many Hanami moments as I could to share with you. I chose several renowned places in Taipei for cherry blossom viewing: Yangmingshan National Park (and specifically, Yangming Park), Dongfang Temple, and Lane 42, Pingjing St. Let’s jump right in! I hope you’re ready to see some pictures of cherry blossoms!

Yangming Park

Each year Yangmingshan hosts a Flower Festival to celebrate the spring blooms, this year lasting from February 5th until March 21st. Typically there are events to attend – opening ceremonies, flea markets and various performances. However this year, due to COVID-19 regulations, such events were cancelled. No matter, there was still much to enjoy! This is the perfect place if you plan to go all out and have a picnic (I did, and there are lots of lovely places to sit). Yangming Park has plenty of beautiful spring flowers. Not only cherry blossoms, but also a stunning array of camellia, azalea, peach and plum blossoms. The park has planted several different types of cherry blossoms that bloom at different times, extending the viewing window. First bloomers are the Taiwan Cherry and Yaezakura, followed by the Yoshino (pictured below). If you go to Yangming Park in the future, I’d recommend going earlier in the season (not in the last week like me!) – as you can see from the photos, I missed the prime-time for blooms. It was still fabulous.

Around the outskirts of Yangming Park, on the way there (outside this hotsprings hotel), we also encountered some really beautiful trees. Keep your eyes open!

Bus routes 129, 128, S8, S9, & 260 all go to Yangming Park, which, to be clear, is a particular park within the greater, and very large, Yangmingshan National Park. Check out my bus timetable at the bottom of the page, or you can see a list of all the bus routes to Yangmingshan here. (Tip: route S8 = 小8, just as route S9 = 小9. The S stands for small, or “xiao”. These routes are minibuses.) There is a parking lot at the entrance to the park. If you get a chance to go, one thing to note is that a lot of the cherry blossoms are actually along the road leading up to the park, so (learn from my mistake and) don’t forget to walk back and admire those as well.

Dongfang Temple

This spot is more off the beaten path, but well worth the visit. The cherry blossoms reach out from a beautiful Buddhist Temple, evoking a very Japanese aesthetic. It’s not the kind of place you can sit down and have your picnic, but it is great for pictures. The easiest way to get here is by driving, but there are a few buses you can take, and if you’re game for a bit of walking then all the better! Check out my bus table below for more information.

Lane 42, Pingjing Street

This is where, despite nearing the end of the season, I found the most voluptuous blooms of the trip. This lane is in a residential area, and the trees are all planted alongside lovely homes. Like Dongfang Temple, Pingjing Street is also out of the way and I recommend driving. However there are a couple of buses that can get you there or nearby, and there’s even a creekside hiking trail you can take to Pingjing Street that begins nearby Dongfang Temple (about an hour one way). Maybe you’ll stumble across more cherry blossoms on the way! From there you can take the S19 to Jiantan Station (again, see my tables below).

The In-between Trees

There are lots of cherry blossoms around this area in general, so its worth keeping your eyes peeled. Who says you need to go to the Top 5 Cherry Blossom Spots to see them? Stopping to enjoy these lesser known blossoms will spare you the crowds and competition for photos (especially during the weekends)!

How could anyone not have a thing for cherry blossoms? I hope you enjoyed the pictures! Please leave a comment if you have any questions, or more viewing places to recommend for other readers!

Cherry Blossom Season in Taipei & Three Places to Go

Getting to Yangming Park

From MRT StationTake BusToStopTimes & FrequencyApprox. Duration
Shipai Station128Dinghu Entrance (Zhuzi Lake)
(竹子湖))
Yangming Park Visitor Center
(陽明公園服務中心)
Only runs during Flower Festival, on weekends & holidays.
Runs from Shipai Station 7:30am – 4:30pm. Last bus leaves Yangmingshan at 5:30pm. Runs every 10 minutes during peak hours, and every 15-20 off-peak. Track it here.
30 min.
S8 (小8)Dinghu Entrance (Zhuzi Lake)
(竹子湖)
Yangming Park Visitor Center
(陽明公園服務中心)
Runs from 5:40am – 7pm. Track it here.30 min.
Beitou Station129Dinghu Entrance (Zhuzi Lake)
(竹子湖)
Yangming Park Visitor Center
(陽明公園服務中心)
Only runs during Flower Festival, on weekends and holidays.
Runs from Shipai Station 7:30am – 4:30pm. Last bus leaves Yangmingshan at 5:30pm. Runs every 10 minutes during peak hours, and every 15-20 off-peak. Track it here.
30 min.
S9
(小9)
Dinghu Entrance (Zhuzi Lake)
(竹子湖)
Yangming Park Visitor Center
(陽明公園服務中心)
Runs from 5:20am – 10:50pm. Track it here. 30 min.
Taipei Main Station260 shuttle busHuazhong Line to Yangmingshan
(陽明山)
Yangming Parking Tower (Caoshan House)
(第一停車場(花鐘))
Runs from 5:45am – 10pm. Every 7-10 minutes during peak, 10-15 off peak and 15-20 on holidays. Track it here.53 min.
260 MTC Bus Yangmingshan Stop
(陽明山總站)
MTC Bus Yangmingshan Stop
(陽明山總站)
Walk (~20 min) or transfer to one of the other buses. Best to double-check with the driver! Track it here.51 min.
Jiantan Station260 shuttle busHuazhong Line to Yangmingshan
(陽明山)
Yangming Parking Tower (Caoshan House)Runs from 5:45am – 10pm. Every 7-10 minutes during peak, 10-15 off peak and 15-20 on holidays. Track it here.37 min.
111Yangmingshan
(陽明山)
Yangmingshan
(2nd last stop)
(陽明山)
Only runs during Flower Festival, on weekends & holidays. From 5:40am – 6pm. Runs every 10-15 minutes during peak hours. Track it here. 40 min.
R5
(or 紅5, means Red 5)
MTC Bus Yangmingshan Stop
(陽明山總站)
MTC Bus Yangmingshan Stop
(陽明山總站)
Runs from 5:40am – 12:40am. Runs every 4-8 minutes on peak hours, 10-15 off-peak. Walk (~20 min) or transfer to one of the other buses. Track it here.40 min.
Jiannan Rd. Station681Yangmingshan
(陽明山)
Yangmingshan
(2nd last stop)
(陽明山)
Only runs during Flower Festival, on weekends & holidays. From 5:40am – 4:20pm. Runs every 30-35 min. Walk (~20 min) or transfer to one of the other buses. Track it here.50 min.
Wanfang Community Station109Yangmingshan
(陽明山)
Yangmingshan
(2nd last stop)
(陽明山)
Only runs during Flower Festival, on weekends & holidays. From 5:40am – 4:20pm. Runs on a fixed schedule, roughly every 30-35 min. Walk (~20 min) or transfer to one of the other buses. Track it here.~60 min. (estimate)

Getting to Dongfang Temple

Take BusToStopTimes & FrequencyNotes
260 shuttle busMTC Bus Yangmingshan Stop
(陽明山總站)
Mingde New Village (明德新村)Walk (~20 min) or transfer to one of the other buses. Track it here.If you’re taking this bus to Yangming Park, it’s pretty easy to make this a stop along the way!
R5
(or 紅5, means Red 5)
MTC Bus Yangmingshan Stop
(陽明山總站)
Mingde New Village (明德新村)Walk (~20 min) or transfer to one of the other buses. Track it here.If you’re taking this bus to Yangming Park, it’s pretty easy to make this a stop along the way!
S16 (小16) from Jiantan or Shilin StationGongguan Li
(公館里)
Dongfang Temple (東方寺)Runs from 6am – 11pm. Track it here.

Getting to Pingjing Street

Take BusToStopTimes & Frequency
S19 (小19) from Jiantan StationPingdeng Li
(平等里)
Earth God Temple (福德祠)Runs from 6am – 10:10pm. Walk ~10 minutes to Lane 42. Track it here.
303 Shuttle from Shilin Station, walk to Shilin District Farmers Association bus stop.Daping Wei (大坪尾)Lunziwei (倫仔尾)Runs from 5:10am to 4:10pm. Track it here.
Hike from Dongfang Temple on this trail. It will take about an hour one way.

What are your thoughts?