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Pink procession: Kawazu cherry trees in full bloom in central Japan

In this drone footage, visitors view Kawazu cherry blossoms along the Kawazu River in the town of Kawazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, on Feb. 18, 2020. (Mainichi/Masahiro Ogawa)

KAWAZU, Shizuoka -- Kawazu cherry blossoms are in peak bloom some 10 days earlier than an average year due to warm weather in this central Japan town, the birthplace of the tree that is known to flower earlier than the popular Someiyoshino cherry trees.

About 850 of the cherry trees line the Kawazu River, which runs through the center of the town, for some 4 kilometers from its mouth. Walkways on both sides of the river are alive with visitors marveling at the beauty of the trees.

According to the town's tourism association, while the number of tourist groups from China and other countries has decreased due to the spread of the new coronavirus, many individuals are coming to the area by car and train, so the total number of visitors is not much less than in an average year.

The cherry blossoms will be at their best until the beginning of next week.

(Japanese original by Yoshiya Goto, Photo Group)

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