Dallas Arboretum's cherry blossoms in full bloom
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 13:03
North Texans got a glimpse of spring time in Japan as the sounds of Japanese music mingled with the sights of pink and white puffs during the third annual Hanami cherry blossom festival at the Dallas Arboretum.
“This is one of the few events that the Japan-America Society has,” board member Sam Shichijo said. “This really fits in the middle of the season that really have given us a good chance of gathering friends and members.”
When delicate blooms filled the branches of the Arboretum’s first few cherry blossom trees nearly ten years ago, officials decided to expand their pink and white collection. Today, more than 100 trees line the gardens.
Hanami, which means “flower viewing” in Japanese, celebrates the start of the trees’ blooming period. This year, it was held on March 17 in the Arboretum’s Pecan Grove.
“It’s a great time of excitement in general and enjoying the outdoors again and nature and just the brevity of life because the cherry blossoms bloom for such a short amount of time,” Japan-America Society membership and communications coordinator Chrystal Sanders said.
Cherry blossom trees only bloom once a year for two weeks at most, but festival goers admired the few trees that were already flowering. They also took part in activities such as origami and enjoyed their picnic lunches.
“This was my very first time at the Hanami festival because my family came to Dallas in March,” Munetake Yamamura said. “Cherry blossom viewing is very good. Over there in Japan, we had the same ones.”
Stan Richardson was among the many first-time festival goers. Richardson has been playing the shakuhachi bamboo flute for about 20 years and has performed at every one of the Japan-America Society’s Hanami festivals.
“Certainly, the cherry blossoms in Japan bring people together to enjoy nature and I think that’s what’s happening here today,” Richardson said. “It’s a beautiful garden. The cherry blossoms are just about to bloom but not quite, so everybody gets to enjoy that and maybe they’ll come back when they’re in full bloom.”
The rest of the Arboretum’s trees will be in full bloom between Tuesday and Thursday this week.