Matsumae sky turns pink as the sakura festival begins
The ‘73rd Matsumae Sakura (cherry blossom) Festival’ began on April 24 at the Matsumae Park venue in the southern Hokkaido town of Matsumae, where the cherry blossoms bloomed earlier than any time since observations began in 1982. Visitors enjoyed the luxurious pink flowers amid strict Coronavirus infection prevention measures, which require temperatures to be taken and contact addresses to be registered. The festival will continue until May 9.
At the venue, where ‘Naden’ sakura – including Yoshino and Yae cherry blossoms – are almost in full bloom, town hall staff established temperature checks at the entrances, which were limited to three locations. A man from Aomori who was visiting with his wife, said “As long as we are careful about where we eat, viewing the cherry blossoms is done outdoors so we are not all that worried [about the Coronavirus].”
Approximately 10,000 trees of 250 varieties of cherry blossoms will bloom in succession in the park and other places until mid-May. The director of the Matsumae Tourism Association, which organizes the event, says “we want to manage the festival while carrying out thorough infection prevention measures during the entire period” The Matsumae Sakura Festival was last year canceled for only the second time since World War 2, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
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