KYOTO -- Early-blooming Kawazu cherry trees are seen painting part of Kyoto's Fushimi Ward pink in this recent photo. The first Kawazu cherry trees here, originally from Kawazu, Shizuoka Prefecture, on the Izu Peninsula, were said to have been planted by Kyoto locals who brought back saplings from Izu. Then in around the year 2000, a local sakura cultivation group began planting about 10 Kawazu seedlings per year. There are now some 350 of the trees in Kyoto, which this year started blooming about three weeks later than in an average year and can be enjoyed until around next weekend.
(Japanese original by Kazuki Yamazaki, Kyoto Bureau)