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Thursday, April 7, 2016, 15:50

The ephemeral beauty of Japan's cherry blossoms

By Associated Press

TOKYO — The blossoms are out, in an explosion of pink, a drab day transformed.

Japan's cherry blossoms, or "sakura" in Japanese, never cease to inspire. The gnarled trees bloom before they have leaves, their thin branches spilling over with delicate pink-white blossoms and nothing else.

For more than a week, they have brightened up a country still trying to shake off the chill of early spring. Cherry blossom viewing, or "hanami," is an annual ritual that takes many forms, from contemplative walks along rows of cherry trees to boisterous picnics in crowded public parks.

And then it's over, an ephemeral beauty filling the trees, before fluttering earthward in the breeze.

The ephemeral beauty of Japan's cherry blossoms
In this April 4, 2016, file photo, people row their boat under cherry blossom at Imperial Palace moat in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)
The ephemeral beauty of Japan's cherry blossoms
In this April 3, 2016, file photo, visitors enjoy cherry-blossom viewing at Ueno Park in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)

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