For example, the cherry blossoms aren’t expected to start blooming in Tokyo for another month, but look at these beautiful photos of Hirosaki Park, one of Japan’s top hanami (cherry-blossom viewing) spots.
冬に咲く桜— A's Photographer (@AsPhotographer4) February 6, 2018
The park includes the grounds of Hirosaki Castle, and the rectangular moat is lined with sakura trees, which make for a beautiful, romantic walk, especially when they’re lit up at night.
But…wait. The sakura front starts in Japan’s southwest, where the weather is warmer, then moves to the cooler regions of the northeast. But Hirosaki Park is located in Hirosaki City, in Aomori Prefecture, and is almost 700 kilometers (435 miles) north of Tokyo.
So how can Hirosaki Park have already gone through its pink transformation before the first sakura blossom has opened in Tokyo?
インスタにも載せたけど— れん (@LCwlFr8cJTgvXrF) February 12, 2019
Because those aren’t sakura petals fluttering through the air in some of these photos. They’re snowflakes!
弘前城の雪桜のライトアップ綺麗だった✨— 藤原 健太 (@denaken1112) February 12, 2019
As the northernmost prefecture on Japan’s main island of Honshu, Aomori gets pretty cold in the winter, and spends much of the season blanketed in snow. Overnight temperatures regularly dip down below freezing, which means any frost on the branches of the moatside sakura trees will be there all night long, and so the park illuminates the trees with pink lights, creating the effect of cherry blossoms blooming in winter.
Hirosaki Park’s Winter Sakura illumination takes place nightly from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., and will be going on until February 28. With the forecast calling for lows of -3 degrees Celsius (26.6°F) on Saturday and an even chillier -4 degrees on Sunday, you’ll want to bundle up, and also make sure your camera or phone battery has a full charge.
Read the original article from SoraNews24 via the link below!
Top image: @Press
Insert images: @Press, Wikipedia/NordNordWest (edited by SoraNews24)