Probably one of the most famous events on Japan’s natural calendar is the annual blossoming of its many cherry trees, or sakura. Every year starting in March, parks and streets across the nation are transformed into clouds of bright pink as the blossoms open up their colors. Here in the parks around Himeji Castle in Hyogo Prefecture, a World Heritage site first completed nearly 700 years ago, the surrounding trees burst in a variety of shades.

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