Monday, April 16, 2012

Japanese Cherry Blossoms (Sakura)

Photograph by Paul Gellatly

Photograph by Paul Gellatly
A year ago I discovered the Japanese Cherry Blossoms in High Park, Toronto.  I was astounded by the beauty of over 2000 Sakura trees in full bloom;  this year I am equally enamored.

Photograph by Paul Gellatly
The tradition of hanami, or "flower viewing" dates back to the Nara Period (710-794) when the Tang Dynasty in China, influenced the people of Japan with their custom of enjoying flowers.  To this day millions of people enjoy the beauty these short blooming trees have to offer all over the world.

The history of the Sakura trees in High Park dates back to 1959, when the Japanese Ambassador to Canada presented 2000 Japanese Sakura trees to the citizens of Toronto, in recognition and appreciation to the city of Toronto accepting re-located Japanese-Canadians following the second second world war.

Photograph by Kelly Butts
Since that time there have been additional plantings in 1984, 2001, and 2006.  

Photograph by Paul Gellatly
The trees are currently in full bloom, and don't last long... If you have a chance this week or weekend, I  recommend a trip to High Park.  A wonderful way to spend an evening or afternoon among the beauty of the Sakura Trees.

Plan on spending at least an hour or two meandering through the park, In addition to the trees, you'll find nesting swans and other beautiful aquatic birds, a beaver dam, wildflowers, a beautiful rock garden, and much more.  There is definitely something for everyone to enjoy.
Photograph by Kelly Butts




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