It's the closest thing to experiencing hanami in Singapore

Getting on a flight to Japan in March means incuring serious peak prices, thanks to the much coveted cherry blossoms many throng to see. And who can argue with that when the cascading petals form a scenery well worth the price and effort. 

But for those not planning a trip to Japan, you don't need to go all the way there to catch it. Come Mar 9-Mar 31, the blush blooms of March makes its appearance in the Flower Dome of Gardens by The Bay for its annual Sakura Matsuri. You can embark on a pastel trail that winds itself around the blossoms on display at the Floral Display, where over 20 varieties of cherry blossom trees make up the great canopy that looms abovehead and splatters shades of magenta and white in the backdrop of your selfies. Free guided tours are also available for floral enthusiasts curious to hear more about the blooms.

And what would a sakura matsuri be if void of the festival aspect? Take a stroll down Nippon Street (only till Mar 17), which echos of the traditional way the Japanese springtime festival was celebrated. You'll find a myriad of old-school carnival games, food and beverage stalls offering ramen, takoyaki, okonomiyaki and other eats, plus a sake station to keep your thirst satiated. Keep a lookout for the yukata rental kiosk too, so that you can saunter down the sakura-dusted trails in your best summer kimono gear.

If classy traditions are more your preferred cup of ocha, schedule in a folk dance, tea ceremony or kendo demonstration, among many other cultural performances on the calendar that'll ensure you'll never have a dull moment.

Those who enjoy Japanese pop culture can look forward to the Anime Garden, which runs across the last weekend of the festival. Featuring celebrity cosplayers, popular anisong artistes, anime screenings and more, the finale event is sure to close the festival with a bang.

Sakura Matsuri 2019 runs from Mar 9-Mar 31, 9am-11.30pm at Gardens by the Bay. Admission charges to the Flower Dome applies on some days. More information available here.