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Flowering season: Late April to late May Access: 15 min by Konan Bus from JR Hirosaki Station to Shiyakusho-mae-koen-iriguchi. Further information: Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture Tourism Guide Kakunodate is located almost at the centre of Akita Prefecture.The beautiful weeping cherry trees (shidare-zakura) and the classic samurai residences in Kakunodate have a history stretching back over 300 years.The records indicate that 25 cherry trees were planted in "Nishi-no-Kuruwa" in 1715, and among these trees, Kanzan and Kasumi-zakura still bloom now in the spring.The 120 year-old Somei-yoshino is also very popular, and is said to be the oldest in Japan, planted at the beginning of the Meiji Era.
The first trees actually arrived two years earlier, a gift from the city of Tokyo and due in part to the advocacy of Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore, one of National Geographic Society's first female board members.
The pink blossoms of the Kwanzan trees are often found in the East Potomac Park area, while the white blossoms of the Yoshino are found closer to the northern part of the Tidal Basin near the Washington Monument.
HANAMI, the Japanese custom of contemplating the impermanence of life by gazing at the fleeting beauty of blossoming flowers, goes back a long way.
Further information: Hakodate-Southern Hokkaido Tourist Guide Hirosaki Castle Park is one of the best spots for viewing cherry trees in the Tohoku region.
In this park, there is a castle with turrets and gates as a visual reminder of bygone days, which was constructed by the Tsugaru family who once ruled the whole area.
“The Tale of Genji”, a tenth-century masterpiece that is perhaps the world’s first novel, devotes a chapter to the cherry-blossom festival staged in the emperor’s great hall.