Plum flower festival starts at Kairakuen Garden
NHK -- Feb 18
People are enjoying the first signs of spring at an annual plum flower festival at the Kairakuen garden in Mito City, north of Tokyo.

The festival began on Saturday. Kairakuen is widely regarded as one of the three most beautiful gardens in Japan.

City officials say about 15 percent of the garden's 3,000 plum trees are blooming.

Visitors strolled and took pictures of the white, pink and red flowers on Sunday.

A woman who lives in the city said the scent of the flowers heralds the arrival of spring.

The city expects about 500,000 people to visit the festival, which runs through the end of March.

During the festival period, northbound trains on JR Joban Line stop at a temporary train station near Kairakuen on weekends and a national holiday.

News source: NHK
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