If you’ve ever wanted to see how cherry trees transform into blooms that resemble soft pink and white fairy lights, then book the next flight to Kyoto.
The former capital of Imperial Japan, Kyoto, nestled in green valleys of Tamba highlands, is the idyllic antithesis to the futurism of the current capital Tokyo. And it’s never more conspicuous than when boughs heavy with hundreds of cherry blooms hang heavy over tea houses, the meandering river Kamo and the myriad Buddhist and Shinto shrines – the iconic golden Kinkaku-ji temple is a must visit.
Next to the river is Kyoto’s Botanical Gardens – the city’s pride and joy that has lush lotus ponds and groves full of cherry trees bursting into cottony clusters of delicate flowers from late March to mid-April. It is considered to be the best place to experience this spectacular phenomenon.
Head there with a bento box of sushi, daikon and ikura so you can have yourself a hanami – the Japanese activity of appreciating flowers by picnicking beneath the blooms. The lyrical beauty of this 1,000-year capital will leave you wanting to revisit a thousand times over.
The Suiran Hotel, styled after traditional ryokan inns and just a 30-minute drive away, is a lavish resort you wouldn’t want to bid sayonara to. Visit www.suirankyoto.com/en
JA Hatta Fort Hotel
Spirit your family off for a springtime sojourn to Hatta with JA resort’s Easter offer. Sprawling chalets nestled near the scenic Hajar mountains will host you and the kids with daily breakfast for two, 20 per cent food and beverage discounts, access to the indoor pools and gym, and special Easter activities that guarantee a hopping good weekend. From Dh852, until March 31. Call 04 814 5400 or email email@example.com
Corinthia Hotel, Lisbon, Portugal
Eggs are all you have to hunt for this Easter as the perfect holiday has been found with Corinthia Lisbon’s Easter Sunshine Package. As spring sunshine brings to light the history of Europe’s second-oldest capital, visit the 18th-century Aqueduct and Monsanto Natural Park. Then kickback at tourist hotspots such as Lisbon Zoo and Lisbon Oceanarium with 15 per cent discount on tickets. Includes accommodation, breakfast, Saturday buffet dinner and in-room Easter treats on March 26. From Dh825 per night. Visit www.corinthia.com/lisbon
App of the week
Spout more than sayonara and konnichiwa on your Japanese trip with this app that translates and teaches you phrases in over 13 languages. With authentic pronunciations and a quirky parrot for a teacher it’s a fun way to build on your international vocabulary even offline. Free on iOs.
Style on the go
SWIMSUIT UP Your little girl can splash right into outdoor pools and the beach without sunburns in this UPF 50 Hula swimsuit from Coega. We love the Hawaii-inspired prints. Dh210, Sun & Sand Sports
POUCH PERFECT Bag up toiletries, make-up and leaky lotions in these deep bowl-shaped pouches from Popcorn and keep your luggage from turning into a soap opera. Made of easy-to-wash rubber-like material, they’ll stay colourful and clean, too. Dh170 each, Cities.
TALK TO THE BAND Doubling up as a Bluetooth earpiece when popped out of the stylish leather wristband, this hybrid fitness tracker answers calls on-the-go! Its inbuilt remote camera control, phone-finder and on-screen notifications leave hands free and minds easy during trips. Dh699, E-City