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Friday, 15th April 2011
In Events In Japan,

Cherry blossom event draws crowds to Osaka

The lure of the cherry blossom brought hundreds of travellers to Osaka's Mint Bureau yesterday (April 14th), marking the full arrival of spring in the western Japan city.

Around 800 visitors converged on Cherry Blossom Lane for the annual event, which went ahead despite suggestions that it might be cancelled after the March 11th earthquake, the Associated Press reported.

The government bureau is home to more than 350 cherry trees of 128 different varieties, resulting in a colourful display of blossom at this time each year.

Local man Tadashi Watanabe, 74, who has attended the event every year for the past 12 years, said that it was something for residents to look forward to each spring.

Visitors to Osaka can catch the blossom display at the Mint Bureau for the next five days, although the night-time illumination of the trees has been cancelled to conserve energy.

Admission is free and a donation box has been set up to fund quake and tsunami relief efforts.

Written by Kimberley Homer