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Huge ancient blooming cherry tree delights visitors in Gifu Pref.

The "Neodani Usuzumi-zakura" cherry tree is seen in full bloom in the city of Motosu, Gifu Prefecture, on April 8, 2019. (Mainichi/Takehiko Onishi)

MOTOSU, Gifu -- A giant cherry tree here that is over 1,500 years old and is in full bloom is attracting many visitors.

The tree is designated as a national natural monument and is said to be one of the most famous cherry trees in Japan. The tree is some 17 meters high, has a trunk roughly 9 meters in circumference and its branches stretch out about 22 meters from east to west and about 24 meters from north to south.

The ancient tree suffered damage in a typhoon last September, leaving four large branches split. However, measures were taken to mend the branches and they bloomed as normal this year.

The tree is lit up every evening between 6:40 p.m. and 9 p.m. until May 6.

The "Neodani Usuzumi-zakura" tree is of the rosebud type. "Usuzumi" means light black ink and the color of the tree's petals change to gray before they fall.

(Japanese original by Takehiko Onishi, Nagoya Photo Group)

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