”Usuzumi-Zakura” is the fabled, blooming cherry tree located in Neo Valley in Gifu prefecture. The tree is over 1500 years old and was planted by the 26th emperor of Japan “Keitai” in the 5th century. This aged, beautiful tree is 16.3 meters tall and its branches extend 20-26 meters. In 1959 and 1967, the tree was damaged by Typhoons. Now a group of arborist maintains the health of the famous tree. Travel takes 3-4 hours from Tokyo by a bullet train and a train. The tree flowers from the end of March to April and is viewed on national TV.
“Usu” means light and “Sumi” is the Black ink used for calligraphy, so the tree’s flower’s color range is light pink to a light grey during flower season. “Zakura” translated means, “sakura,” cherry blossom. This tree is celebrated for longevity and it’s unique flower shading. Initially the budding blooms are pink, after blooming, the flower becomes white, and last, just before the petals fall, the color changes to light gray.
“Sakura” is Japan’s National Flower and it blooms only 1-2 weeks in the spring. “Usuzumi Zakura” has a changing pale color and short flowering period. The flowering period produces an impressive dainty flower and that is radiant at sunset. Many Japanese want to visit at least once to see this old, elegant tree and experience its history.
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