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Home sakura flowers become popular alternative cherry blossom season option in Japan

Cherry blossom flowers for home decoration, which have seen rising sales while people refrain from cherry blossom-viewing outside, are seen at the Hibiya-Kadan Style Shimbashi Station shop on March 1, 2021. (Mainichi/Takehiko Onishi)

TOKYO -- Sales of sakura flowers for home decoration are blooming in Japan as the coronavirus pandemic forces people to refrain from cherry blossom viewing in parks.

    Hibiya Kadan, a retailer based in Tokyo's Minato Ward offering flower arrangements and other products, now has a special corner in its shop lined with pots of asahiyama-zakura cherry blossoms and cuttings from early-blooming keio-zakura cherry blossoms.

    In Tokyo, parties involving food and drink at areas including parks or riverside areas managed by the metropolitan government are banned during any part of the cherry blossom-viewing season taking place in the ongoing state of emergency.

    Hibiya Kadan has reportedly had many customers buying decorative cherry blossoms out of a desire to enjoy seeing the flowers from home at the very least, and sakura flower pot sales on the retailer's online store are double last year's.

    Rie Yokoi, a public relations representative at Hibiya Kadan, said, "We'd like customers to decorate with sakura and other seasonal flowers, and enrich their time at home."

    (Japanese original by Takehiko Onishi, Photo Group)

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