No hanami parties under cherry blossoms 2021

posted on March 26, 2021

  Soon after the lifting of the state of emergency for Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures, cherry trees in the capital came into full bloom. The flowers bloom beautifully as always but this year the way people observe those flowers is not the same as they did before the Covid-19 pandemic. For the Japanese, it is pretty customary to hold cherry-blossom viewing parties with friends and families under the cherry trees in spring, but those hanami gatherings are now strongly discouraged by many local governments. At Ueno Park, one of the most popular cherry-blossom viewing spots with some 800 cherry trees, the main path is divided into two lanes, and visitors can walk in only one direction in each lane. Ropes and fences have been set up around the trees with notices saying, “No picnic area”. People can still stroll in the park to enjoy the cherry-blossom viewing while adhering to standard safety protocols. Wearing masks and practicing social distancing are of course strongly advised. The cherry-blossom front will move up to arrive at the northern tip of the Japanese archipelago around mid-May.


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