Cherry Blossom Trees at Parc de Sceaux near Paris
To enjoy springtime people in Paris and the suburbs are going to the parks, some of which have cherry blossom trees in bloom this spring.
The Japanese have a custom called Hanami (花 見, literally “to look at the flowers”).
This traditional Japanese custom is appreciating the beauty of flowers, mainly cherry blossoms (sakura). It is interesting to note that each cherry tree may only bloom for up to a week. The Japanese have a tradition of picnicking beneath cherry blossom trees.
With stores selling only essential products, restaurants, bars, museums and theaters and movies closed, the parks are very popular.
Parc de Sceaux, about 30 minutes from Paris, has the most beautiful and largest cherry blossoms , in both white and pink. There is an entire orchard of pink cherry blossom trees. The beautiful park featuring an octagonal lake and canal was designed by Andre Le Notre, the famous gardener of King Louis XIV of France.
Marie- Noëlle David-Pichon and I went to Parc de Sceaux and compared it to our visit in 2018. We had to walk past the lake and continue for about 10 mins. to reach the orchard. There were fewer people and we saw only two ladies enjoying a picnic, not under a tree as is the Japanese custom, but near a tree. They had a bottle of wine to enjoy even though it is prohibited from drinking alcohol in public places. The weather in 2018 was like summer but in 2021 people were wearing springtime jackets.
Unlike our visit in 2018, when we saw many Japanese, we did not see any Japanese people. Perhaps they were busy working remotely.
The pink cherry blossoms are our favorite although the white blossoms are also very beautiful. We enjoyed not only seeing the beautiful trees but also seeing both adults and children enjoying them.
Parisians are only allowed to travel 10 kilometers from their homes but effective May 3, 2021 the limit of the 10 km. distance for travel will be removed.
The 7 p.m. curfew was in effect the day we visited the park and is still in effect. With the longer days and sunset after 8 p.m; it is hard to respect the curfew. Most people are home by 8 p.m. not 7 p.m.
It is invigorating and refreshing to take a break from the somber atmosphere of seeing locked stores, restaurants and cafés and go to see the people enjoying the cherry trees at Parc de Sceaux.
Jane Rosenstein is a U.S. citizen living in Paris, France. She is a professional translator/interpreter. She is the owner of The International Connection which does international marketing consultation including sales of wine, interpretation, and translation. She enjoys the cultural life that living in Paris offers and has talents in organizing events. She speaks English, French, and Spanish.
She has a B.S. degree in mathematics from University of Pittsburgh and an M.B.A. degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA.