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Saturday, 14th March 2015
In Japan Travel News, Weather In Japan,

Tokyo gets ready to host spring festivals

To put it simply, Tokyo is jaw-droppingly beautiful at any time of the year, but nothing comes close to when the nation undergoes its annual transformation at spring. Apart from the cherry blossom (sakura) that attracts thousands of visitors every year, Tokyo also hosts a series of fantastic spring-related events - here are a few of the best.

It is hardly a surprise that Mount Takao attracts 2.5 million visitors every year. Its fauna, flora and ancient buildings, standing 600 metres above sea level, are a sight to behold, and they seem to shine the greatest at the Annual Spring Festival in late April. Hosted by the Yakuoin Temple, a special display of Buddha is held in the main hall, while the goma fire ritual at the Yukien stupa is a real spectacle.

Throughout April and May, you should head to Nezu Shrine, whose 6,600 sq m garden boasts a staggering 3,000 azalea plants. Believed to have been founded over 1,900 years ago, the garden gives you the chance to see rare plants in full bloom, such as the Fuji-tsutsuji, Hanaguruma and Karafune. At this time of year, there are also various plant and antique fairs planned so be sure to check what may be on during your visit.

Finally, Hana Matsuri, held on April 8th, will be marking Buddha's birthday, known locally as 'Bussho-e'. At Sensoji Temple, a painting that depicts the birth of Buddha will be displayed in the main hall, a Buddhist service will be held here, and loca children will pull a white elephant as part of a parade procession. And every visitor will receive some hydrangea tea - what more could you ask for?

If you are lucky enough to be visiting Tokyo in spring, keep an eye of what events may be on during your trip - they are a daily occurrence at this time of year!

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Japan's Obama backs namesake in US presidential race (4th September 2008)
Tokyo wins race to host 2020 Olympics (9th September 2013)
IOC evaluation commission notes Tokyo's 'financial strength' (26th June 2013)
Prime Minister Abe shows support for Tokyo's Olympic bid (8th January 2013)