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    Hirosaki Castle outer moat covered in flower rafts, still in full bloom even after the flowers have fallen

    Hirosaki Castle outer moat covered in flower rafts, still in full bloom even after the flowers have fallen

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    On April 23rd, "flower rafts" were spread all over the outer moat of Hirosaki Castle near Hirosaki Civic Hall.

    Hirosaki Park is home to 52 varieties of cherry blossoms, including 1,700 Yoshino cherry trees. The park is popular with foreign tourists, as the cherry blossoms can be seen alongside the castle gate, turret, and moat, which are designated as important cultural properties. This year, many visitors were seen pointing their cameras at the various views of the cherry blossoms and the surface of the moat.

    The Hirosaki City Park and Green Space Division announced on the same day that the cherry blossoms in the park and the cherry blossom tunnel have begun to fall, and the cherry blossoms on the west bank of the outer moat and the western moat have scattered to five locations. The best time to see the cherry blossom storm and flower rafts is expected to be around April 27th.

    The "flower raft" is a raft made of fallen cherry blossom petals floating on the water. In Hirosaki Park, the petals fill the entire surface of the moat, so they are also called the "pink carpet." Hirosaki City is promoting the cherry blossoms as something you can enjoy even after they have fallen.

    A woman in her 40s visiting from Akita smiled and said, "I felt like I was riding on a raft of flowers spread out as far as the eye could see," while a man in his 50s visiting from Tokyo said, "The cherry blossoms at Hirosaki Park look different in the morning, afternoon and night, and I was very satisfied."

    Ebina Yuji, an arborist affiliated with the city and a member of Team Sakura Guardian, said, "This year, even the highest temperature after full bloom remained below 20 degrees, so the flowers are lasting well. There were no strong winds or rain, so the Somei-Yoshino cherry trees inside the outer moat still have their petals remaining and haven't fallen. The flower rafts will be at their best from now on."

    The Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival runs until May 5th.

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