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Custodian of the Cherries: Sixteenth-Generation Japanese Gardener Sano Tōemon

Master gardener Sano Tōemon has laid out and cared for countless Japanese gardens in Japan and overseas. The 90-year-old veteran landscaper is particularly revered for his knowledge of flowering cherries, earning him the honored title of sakuramori, guardian of the beloved trees. In this interview Sano shares his views of sakura, traditional landscape gardening, and cultural change in Japan.
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Imperial Palace Inui Street Opened As Cherries Fully Bloom

Tokyo, March 24 (Jiji Press)—The Imperial Palace's Inui Street is opened to the public from Saturday through April 1, as cherry trees went into full bloom in Tokyo. From the Imperial Household Agency building, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko viewed visitors to the street, where 103 cherry trees of 31 varieties are planted, compared with 75 trees of 12 varieties before recent transplant work…
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A Shower of Blossoms: Tokyo Garden Shines Light on Famed Weeping Cherry (Japan in Photos)

Visitors to Tokyo’s Rikugien admire the garden’s iconic shidarezakura (weeping cherry) on March 22, 2018. The towering 70-year-old tree is in full bloom and will be lit up at night until April 5. (© Jiji)
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Cherry Blossoms Reach Full Bloom in Western Japan’s Kōchi

Tokyo, March 19 (Jiji Press)—A somei-yoshino cherry tree monitored in the western Japan city of Kōchi came into full bloom on Monday, the Japan Metrological Agency said. The tree, located at the premises of Kōchi Castle, started flowering on Thursday, the earliest among all cherry trees being observed in Japan this spring. It is also the earliest full bloom for any somei-yoshino tree under moni…
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Cherry Blossoms Start Flowering in Tokyo

Tokyo, March 17 (Jiji Press)—Cherry blossoms started coming out in Tokyo on Saturday, nine days earlier than average year and the third earliest on record, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The agency also said a somei-yoshino cherry tree it has been observing in the capital began blooming four days earlier than the previous year. "Flower buds grew faster, as there were successive da…
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Cherry Blossom Season Kicks Off with Blooming Kōchi “Sakura” (Japan in Photos)

The Japan Meteorological Agency on March 15 recognized a somei-yoshino cherry in Kōchi Prefecture as the first hyōhonboku, or sample tree, in the country to begin blooming, signaling the start of the much-awaited blossom viewing season. The agency said warm weather coaxed the buds out earlier than expected and has bumped up sakura predictions for other areas of Japan. (© Jiji)
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New Species of Cherry Tree in Japan Named “Kumano-zakura” (News)

Tokyo, March 14 (Jiji Press)—Japan's Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute and the Wakayama prefectural government's forestry test station have given a new species of a wild cherry tree the Japanese name kumano-zakura. The cherry tree, growing in the southern part of the Kii Peninsula in western Japan, is the first new species of the genus Cerasus in the country in some 100 years, the…
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Early Cherry Blossoms Send Winter on Its Way (Video)

Early-flowering tsubaki kanzakura cherry blossoms in full bloom in Susaki, Kōchi Prefecture on March 7, 2018. They are also known as yukiwari-zakura (snow-breaking cherry blossoms) as they come into flower during the chilly days when snow remains on the ground. Thousands of trees transform the hillsides into a spring sea of pink, offset by the brilliant yellow of canola flowers. City authorities…
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Famed Cherry Tree Lane Blooms in Abandoned Fukushima District (Japan in Photos)

A famous stretch of cherry blossoms blooms in an abandoned district of Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, 7 kilometers from the stricken Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. The photograph was taken by a drone flying over the off-limits area on April 12, 2017. (© Jiji)
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Cherry Blossoms Brighten Kumamoto Castle a Year After Earthquakes (Japan in Photos)

Cherry blossoms came into full bloom outside Kumamoto Castle on April 9, 2017, almost one year after earthquakes killed dozens of people in the prefecture and caused considerable damage. The Miyukizaka slope outside the castle had been closed to the public after the earthquake, but was reopened specially to let visitors see the sakura. A local woman in her forties visiting with her three child…
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