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Old 04-28-2010, 03:49 PM
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Default Japan Tour: Omuro Sakura Ninnaji Temple

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This year was a splendid year for cherry blossoms in Kyoto.

In mid-March a warm spell stoked fears that the cherry trees would bloom two weeks ahead of schedule. Tour companies and hotels experienced a brief panic.

That was then allayed by a sharp cold snap.

The result was that the buds held off blossoming. Once they did, the cold weather - and no heavy rain - held the pink blossoms on the branches for about a week.

Every night along the Kamo River there were "yozakura" (literally, "night cherry blossom") parties.

The blossoms finally fluttered to the ground about a week ago.

For those in western Kyoto, though, there is one more chance to enjoy the the blossoms.

Ninnaji Temple has a collection of small, late-blooming cherry trees known as Omuro Sakura, which is named for the surrounding neighborhood.

The Omuro Sakura can be seen above right, while the "normal" (perhaps Someiyoshi?) cherry blossoms, almost gone, are pictured below left.

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