1 Day Itinerary in Singapore

Singapore is a very beautiful country with very many tourist attraction sites. A one day lay over will you give just the time you need to sample out some of Singapore’s attraction sites, leaving you wanting to spend more time exploring. Like any other country, Singapore boasts with lots of rich history and culture backed up by numerous relics and antics that are to be seen in both their public and private museums.

When touring Singapore, come prepared to be amazed by the tremendous beauty. There is a lot to explore and enjoy. Below are some attraction sites that will get you off on the right foot when visiting Singapore.

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Yum Cha Restaurant

This restaurant is to be found in Chinatown and it offers local dishes in the tourist district. The early mornings in Chinatown are rather quiet, offering you a quick look at what Singapore was in the olden days.

Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum

The museum was constructed in 2007 as a dwelling place for the sacred artifact “the Buddha’s tooth” which is displayed in the museum. The temple and museum are also to be found in Chinatown. It receives many Singaporean Buddhists who come to pay homage.

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Singapore Zoo

Being single most celebrated zoos worldwide, the zoo has over 2,530 occupants and 11 highly populated zones. Magnificent and rare white tigers find a home in the jungle enclosure in this zoo.

The zoo has many wild animals from the flying foxes to sloths to be found in the rainforest trees.

River Safari

The River Safari is located next to the Singapore Zoo. This is one of a kind wildlife park that houses seven of the residents of the world renowned rivers, from the Mississippi are the alligators, from the Mekong are the giant catfish and from the Ganges are the frog-faced soft-shell turtles.

Here you will also get to see the two pandas, Jia Jia and Kai Kai and the new addition, the rare red panda.

Ah Meng Restaurant

This restaurant was named in honor of an orangutan, a former inhabitant of the zoo. It is enjoyable particularly for families and offers a variety of local food. For you to have an out of this world experience, try the early breakfast with orangutans.

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Orchard Road

Orchard road started out as a street lined with plantations of nutmeg and orchards. The road has changed over the years gradually being occupied by temples, markets, and cemeteries to what is today; an exhibition center, entertainment hub, and a serene place to take soothing walks in.

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Gardens by the Bay

This is a botanical garden filled with plants from all over the world except Antarctica. A Skyway is hovering 22 meters above the Gardens, giving you a spectacular view of the natures beautiful flowers and scents.

KU DE TA Club Lounge

The KU DE TA club hangs atop the Marina Bay and offering an incredible 360 degrees panoramic view of Singapore at night. The clubs dress code is semi-formal.

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This is a restaurant that gives you a great view of the sunset over the Singapore River. The restaurant is linked to the flower dome, one of the sights of the Gardens. The food at the restaurant is inspired by the Mediterranean coast.

Conclusion

A day in Singapore will give you a taste of Singapore’s rich culture and beautiful sights. The location of the attraction sights makes it possible for you to experience a lot of history and beauty. The various museums give you a feel of the Singaporean history and a deeper appreciation of the culture.

From fine dining of the Mediterranean meals to the local foods of Singapore are all to be found in the various restaurants in within the city. Night life also has a place in Singapore with the KU DE TA. Consider enjoying your drink and taking in the scenic view this club offers.


 

Kally Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

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Must-know Hacks to Enjoy the Forbidden City

During the October holidays, teeming crowds turn up at the historical site for an exotic travel experience into the Satan’s pit. For most of the Beijing residents’ going to the Forbidden City is out of question throughout the holidays. Even all through the busiest of weeks, below are some tricks that can make visiting the Forbidden City more tolerable when not pleasant.

  1. Plan for an early morning visit: The ticket sales limit is 80,000 a day. This may seem like its a lot but during special exhibitions and holidays but the possibility of the tickets selling out by early on in the afternoon is very high.

(Advanced Tip: A reservation system is available online and you can book at most 10 tickets for a group except you need to have someone who reads Chinese – or you can do so yourself – and even have a payment method like Zhifubao or Alipay.)

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  1. Skip Mao: About 90% of the tourists approach Forbidden City via Tiananmen to the south. Getting here for an exotic travel experience often requires that you pass through rather long lines to get to the security checks. In order to avoid these, use the west or east entrance. Pay the entrance fee and walk into the park to the east side. This will get you to ticketing area right outside the Forbidden City main entrance. However, you will need to queue for the museum security checks so you can go inside.
  2. Stay away from the crowded area: Most visitors follow the same route right into the center of Forbidden City. Stay away from the crowded places and rather explore the interesting parts by turning right or left. When you walk along the wall going towards the East Gate, you will come to a fascinating and quiet museum of the palace architecture. Down the stairs near the East Gate as if going back towards the courtyard you will find the Literary Flourishing Hall which is a ceramic well-curated museum.

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  3. Keep away the mid-axis: Make a point to visit Cining Gong and Shoukang Gong which was home to the emperor’s mother in 18 century. This is a functioning archaeological site which has sculpture displays that date back to more than 1,500 years. This includes terracotta soldiers loaned from Xi’an.
  4. Use an alternative exit: Officially, Forbidden City is to be exited through one way that is north-south. However, the transport options outside the northern gate are restricted to jam-packed buses and trishaw hustlers. You can, however, exit from the Donghuamen (east gate) which lets out into the quieter street which has better taxi options and is closer to the nearby subway. Should you be hungry, a division of Siji Minfu- a famous Beijing restaurant and TRB Bites are located outside the eastern gate.

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  5. Remember to carry your passport: In 2015 new policies were enacted which require you to present a type of identification for every ticket purchased. The security personnel also look for lighters since it’s not advisable smoking inside the 600-old wooden palace.

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One more last tip – always ask a local for the best time to visit China or you can always rely on us at askus@ladyredot.com. If you have been to China, come and share your stories with us!


 

KallyKally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

Bangkok vs. Kuala Lumpur: Where to Travel for the Long Weekend?

In Singapore this year, we have some long weekends due to the holidays. Christmas is on Monday, which means we have Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off as weekends. New Year is also on a Monday, which gives us the long Friday, Saturday and Sunday weekend.

In 2018 we still have some long weekends due to holidays, such as the Chinese New Year (which falls on a Friday and Saturday), and Good Friday (on a Friday). These holidays provide the perfect opportunity for some exotic travel to either Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur, our exciting and fun-filled neighboring countries. But then, you know you can only pick one since it is a three-day holiday. There are arguments about which is better, and, since have traveled to both places for the holidays, I can be considered an expert of sorts.

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Bangkok vs. Kuala Lumpur: Food

While food is less expensive in Kuala Lumpur, if you are used to Malay cuisine, you won’t find anything new there. Food in Bangkok is much more exciting because of the many restaurants selling foreign cuisine. Also, the food is less spicy than Malayan food (unless you love spicy food, which I do).

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Bangkok vs. Kuala Lumpur: Shopping

Of course you would want to go shopping while you’re on holiday (I know I do). Kuala Lumpur has malls as big as those in Singapore, and so does Bangkok. Shopping is also cheaper in Kuala Lumpur. However, Bangkok has an edge over Kuala Lumpur because of the street markets. Bangkok is teeming with street markets that give you a variety of choices when shopping, and you can get great prices as well.

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Bangkok vs. Kuala Lumpur: Nightlife

Bangkok goes on long after most people’s bedtime. The city is also safe at night, so you don’t have to worry about staying out past midnight. Restaurants stay open late to cater to hungry people on any kind of budget. There are bars and night clubs for you to go and hangout and have fun, as well as a host of other entertainment choices for you and your family or friends.

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Bangkok vs. Kuala Lumpur: Culture

Bangkok is rich in Thai culture and history that is quite undiluted, because it is the only country in South-East Asia that never got colonized by foreigners. The capital has a lot to offer for you to experience and enjoy, from the dances to the temples to the heritage. Malayan culture is a blend of Malay, Indian, and Chinese, giving it a distinctive culture of its own. Kuala Lumpur displays Malaysian culture in all its splendor and beauty, but personally I prefer Thai culture in Bangkok.

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Bangkok vs. Kuala Lumpur: Nature

The beaches in Thailand are cluttered with civilization. You can go to the beach and see bus routes and food stands, with very little ‘nature’ next to the water. The national parks are no different. They are not secluded and quiet and free of man and his toys. You can enter a park hoping for peace and quiet, and you will see food stands, resorts, and hiking trails that are very easy and not far from civilization.

Malaysia is still untamed when it comes to nature. The beaches are still pristine and free of human intervention. The Borneo jungle is still alive, despite poaching and deforestation. The national parks are still nature-oriented, with very little presence of resorts and restaurants. Malaysia is still doing its best to establish oil palm plantations, displacing the wild life that exists in the country, but you can still enjoy nature better in Malaysia than in Thailand. However, if you aren’t so deep into nature, Thailand is the place for you.

Conclusion

Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur have their pluses and minuses. Each has something different and unique to offer to visitors on your exotic travel. While I may prefer visiting Kuala Lumpur for the holidays, you may prefer going to Bangkok. With this list of what both cities have to offer, you can choose which city best fits your style and plan and exotic travel for your 3-day holiday. Or just askus@ladyredot.com!


 

Kally Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

10 Of The Best Places To Go To Avoid Christmas

There are many places where December 25th is a day like any other. Make your own cheers this year and hop on a plane for exotic travel adventures to stunning destinations that do not celebrate Christmas.

  1. Algeria

This country has natural beauty and a rich history to enhance your exotic travel. Algiers, a busy city is a fantastic place to start your visit. The close by ruins at Tipasa, Timgad, and Djemila will enrich your experience with the country’s history. Other places to visit while here are the towns of Ouargla –referred to as ‘the golden key to the desert’ for its unique architecture and the Holy town of Beni-Isguen.

  1. The Bahamas

The Bahamas is a great destination to get away from it all; with an impressive bank balance, you can easily acquire an island of your liking. You can try out the Caribbean or the Musha Cay for variety.

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  1. China

The country has many attractions to keep your visit pretty busy. The activities will include Great wall, Beijing Pandas, bicycles, Ming Dynasty, Terracotta Army, Mau Tse Tung, rice, noodles.

  1. Iran

A visit to the country’s prehistoric ruin of Persepolis, Isfahan-one of the Islamic finest cities and the sophisticated and cultured city of Shiraz will start you off on the right tone. You can later enjoy some skiing in the Alborz and walks on the trails encircling the well known Assassins Castles.

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  1. Japan

Traditionally Christmas is not celebrated here. You can instead sample the traditional culture in cities like Nara and Kyoto. Tokyo will offer you its futuristic cityscapes while Hokkaido will amaze you with its powder snow as you enjoy the friendly and hospitality of your hosts.

  1. Nepal

For trekkers and mountaineers, Nepal is a Mecca to them and the Himalayas is just the right setting for an exotic travel. Nepal has other great outdoor activities like kayaking, white water rafting and mountain biking in the inspiring surrounding scenery.

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  1. Democratic People’s Republic of (North) Korea

North Korea does not celebrate Christmas, this keeps their borders closed to almost all tourists, except for few organized tours. Thus you’d be pushed to get there in time for the Promulgation day on 27th December.

  1. Saudi Arabia

To visit Saudi Arabia, you need to have a visa. You can marvel at ‘Saudi Arabia’s Petra’- Madain Saleh and later visit the world’s biggest sea of sand and origin of Arabian oryx- The Empty Quarter. Saudi’s Red Sea waters have the most pristine reefs and it’s also a scuba diver’s heaven.

  1. Turkey

Even with the spreading Western influences (like Christmas celebrations), Turkey is an alluring exotic travel destination away from clichéd seasonal revelries. Istanbul offers both striking traditional architecture and the growing reputation of its being the hippest city around.

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  1. Thailand

November to February is a ‘cool’ period in Thailand when the humidity drops. Thailand has the additional benefit of being Christmas-free. December is when most events and activities continue to take place as planned. Whether you consider Krabi, Phuket, or another quieter place, you have a choice of beachside accommodations from the available world-class resorts.

Whether you like the idea of celebrating Christmas your own special way or you just want to avoid it altogether, your only choice is to travel, rather than to huddle under the blanket at home. Come and check out with us what crazy ideas we have for your Christmas trip at askus@ladyredot.com.


Kally Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

5 Reasons You Should Visit Almaty

Kazakhstan is a cosmopolitan place that borders the cultural crossroads between Asia and Europe. The vast country stretches from China to the Caspian Sea. It is one of Asia’s diverse cultures where Russians and Kazakhs border the Ukrainians, Tatars, Uzbeks, Germans, and scores of other cultures mix harmoniously.

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Almaty is the country’s financial and cultural center and custodian of the essence. It is also the biggest city falling short of being the capital city after the young flash rival, Astana. The town sits amazingly below the snow-capped peaks of Zailysky-Alatau Mountains. It is pleasantly green and very relaxed with fountains, fancy malls, black-windowed SUVs and busy and pretty busy boulevards. The town is modern and a sophisticated hub for booming petro-economy, one that has many surprises that make Almaty the focus of any tour around Kazakhstan.

  1. The wonderful ski spot fit for royalty

The ski resort of Shymbulak is about 30 minutes drive from the city. In 2014 the resort became famous in when Prince Harry and his then-girlfriend Cressida Bonas went skiing on the slopes. It is ritzy and the sunny, chilly winters guarantee varying good conditions and crispy cold snow well into the month of April. The ski lifts leopard-print cabins are painted so in honor of the snow leopards that are rarely seen roaming the mountains. The 4kmseries of ski lifts run up to 3180 meters Talgar pass.

  1. You get to enjoy yourself along the Silk Road

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The bustling green bazaar market halls, filled with traders from across far as Korea to central Asia gather to hawk are a fantastic way to get familiar with the multifaceted ethnic mix of Kazakhstan. The foothills near Almaty are said to be home to the apple fruit, and it is said to massive proportions. Almaty translates to “father of the apple”.

 

  1. The impressive socialist architecture and art

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Soviet War Memorial in Almaty looms vividly in front of the city’s former army command center. The city’s finest museum, Kasteyev State Arts Museum, was named after Abilkhan Kasteev-Kazakhs greatest painter. Along with the huge collection is the intriguing room dedicated to his depiction of life in the former Soviet era from portraits of the peasant life to the canvases of the fast developing landscape.

  1. The second tallest wooden building in the worldnki

Proudly standing in the leafy Panfilov Park is the Cathedral of the Holy Ascension; a mix of pastel-colored gables, a gilded dome and brightly painted tiles that rise 60m high. All built with no single nail.

  1. The Russian baths are the finest in Central Asia

The Arasan Bath’s complex in Almaty is the most highly styled bathhouse in this area. It was built in the early 1980s as a notable statement of the Soviet ambition. Pick your slippers, conical felt hat (shapka) and a towel and join fellow bathers in the fiercely hot Russian steam room (parilka). Bundles of birch or oak leaves (vyeniki) are used to thrash on each other. This wince-inducing practice is believed to improve circulation. From the parilka, you are to upturn over yourself a bucket of gasp-inducing cold water. To finish up a dip in cool plunge-pool under the domed atrium will leave you refreshed.

Want to go on an exotic tour with us? Drop us a note at askus@ladyredot.com


Kally

Kally is a former Sales and Customer Service manager turned Writer and Founder of MiddleMe.net. She came from Singapore; lived in Shanghai and now calls Kuala Lumpur her home. After hanging up her corporate briefcase, she now pursue her passions – Writing, Traveling and of course, hunting for good food.

Connect with me @ Kally@ladyredot.com

Singapore Changi Airport Opens its 4th Terminal

One of the many things that I’m proud of being a Singaporean, is our World Class Award Winning – Changi Airport. I have the chance to visit the new Terminal 4 in August 2017. It is going to open on 31 October 2017 officially for operation.

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The new terminal is 225,000m2, which is the size of 27 football fields. It is half the physical size of Terminal 3 but able to handle 16 million passengers a year – about 70 per cent of Terminal 3’s handling capacity.

As Singapore is progressing into Smart Nation, most of the check in processes are going to be automated and self-help; leveraging on the use of technologies and digital innovation.

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After check in, I came into an area where there is an Immerse Wall showing a pane of high definition video of introducing some of Asia Countries with its unique representatives. I believe it does helps me to relax when there is a long queue for bags and body scan.

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In the Departure Hall, other than the usual duty free shops and restaurants, you feel very different from other terminals. Changi Airport Group has immerse Art and Peranakan Heritage culture as one of the focus architecture design in the new terminal. There is a Love Story Play that compose by Singapore own song-writer Dick Lee where you can sit back and enjoy while waiting to take off.

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As you continue to explore around, you get to see some artistic figures like The Travelling Family, an aluminium sculpture by Swiss artist, Kurt Lawrence Metzler and Petalclouds, a grand-scale kinetic sculpture. Quite a usual sight in an airport.

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The first airline that be taking off in Terminal 4 is Cathay Pacific. Others joining are Korean Air, Vietnam Airlines, AirAsia, Cebu Pacific and Spring Airlines. Hence, the next flight, see you at Changi Airport Terminal 4.

I have quite an enjoyable open house, learning so much about the new terminal. Before I missed out, do watch out for the cleaning auto-bots. They are pretty awesome and adorable. Be sure to spend some time exploring the new terminal!

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Reference links:


IreneHi, I’m Irene. Born as a Sagittarius and living in the South of Singapore, I have been working in the Information Technology as a Business Product Manager for 8 years. Enjoying my scope that allows the challenge of learning new things every day as my role demands frequent business travels all over the globe. I have an adventurous bold soul that nothing can tie me down. When I am not sweating it out, I can be found chilling at a corner of any café, bury my head in a Sales Strategy or a Poem book, whatever my mood takes me. Besides being a yoga and gym enthusiast, my passion for travelling and planning travel itineraries show through friends who encourage me to share my travel experiences with others. Reach out to me @ irene@ladyredot.com for amazing impromptu ideas for your next trip abroad!

Best Vacation Destinations for Anthophiles

Originally, anthophiles refer to insects which frequent flowers or feed from them. These days, however, flower lovers everywhere has appropriated the term anthophile to mean a person who loves or appreciates flowers. For example, I’m a self-confessed anthophile. Since I don’t have much space for gardening in the city, I make do by displaying fresh cut flowers on my work desk, dining table and even on my bedside table.

It may seem a bit frivolous for others because flowers wilt anyway, so why keep purchasing them? But for me, it really is worth every cent. Plus, the lives of fresh cut flowers do not end on murky waters inside a vase. You can actually dry them out and craft them into potpourri or frame them into something artsy. Your only limit is your imagination!

Still, nothing beats living, breathing and thriving flowering plants. Fortunately, I do get to appreciate flowers in their natural habitat when I travel—wide, open spaces of pastel-coloured flowers in full bloom. Wherever I am, I always make it a point to visit flower farms or well-tended gardens and parks. So if buying hampers and fruit baskets from the best florist in Singapore is not enough to satisfy your anthophilous needs, perhaps going straight to the source may do the trick. Here are some of the prime vacation destinations you can visit and the best time to go there.

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Keukenhof in Lisse (The Netherlands)
(Unsplash | Owen Williams)

Tulips have become so in demand that it even caused the Tulip mania during the Dutch Golden Age that sent the prices for tulips skyrocketing. They have remained popular even up to this day. These elegant blooms are perfect for various occasions, including weddings and especially for Valentine’s Day. Every online florist in Singapore probably has Holland tulips in their inventory. To see these tulips in their place of origin, travel to the tulip fields in Holland to see millions of bulbs bloom in spring. The best time to visit Keukenhof is during the months of March to May.

Though I can’t visit those fields whenever I please, every time I miss Holland’s gorgeous tulip farms, I often order A Better Florist’s The Allison composed of multi-hued tulips. It just transports me to the countryside’s of Europe. Fortunately, you can also buy The Allison from Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi and Dubai due to their recent expansion. Seems like there are anthophiles everywhere as they’ve already gained quite a following after they’ve been touted as best flower delivery in Hong Kong, best florist in Hong Kong and one of the best florists in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The flower business is definitely blooming!

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Yanaka Cemetery, Ueno, Tokyo (Japan)
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If your version of satisfying your floral fix during a vacation is by ordering a luxurious bouquet from the best florist in Hong Kong in between shopping sprees and food trips, then you need to level up your anthophilous game. Why not ditch your annual Hong Kong trip and pick another Asian destination for an authentic floral fix at Japan’s sakura season! This is probably the most magical season in Japan. Even the best bouquet from the best florists in Singapore can’t quite capture the whimsy and scenic appeal of sakura. When springtime comes, tourists flock to the country to get a glimpse of the ephemeral beauty of Cherry Blossoms. For a brief time, Japan gets covered in a delicate tapestry of pink and white.

Yanaka Cemetery in Ueno may seem like a morbid choice, but trust me, if you want to witness the cherry blossoms in full bloom and in relative peace, then this is where you want to be. Nagoya Castle may have the more cinematic overall experience, but you can also expect droves of people bound to be there obstructing the view. The best time to witness the sakura season is late March to mid-April. You can also check online for a more accurate schedule.