Blossoms fascinate foreign visitors

posted on March 29, 2016

The someiyoshino cherry trees are blooming in Osaka, which means the hanami season is upon us. Cherry blossom viewing is also becoming popular with foreign tourists, who are visiting Japan in record numbers.

Recently, some have come not just to gaze at the flowers, but to enjoy Japanese-style hanami parties under the trees. Travel agencies and local governments with such tourist spots are scrambling to keep up with demand.

Some recent posts on Weibo, China's version of Twitter, were "Japanese people are singing and eating bento meals. It looks fun," and "Cherry blossoms at night are beautiful."

Trend Express, a Tokyo-based company that analyzes online word-of-mouth information from overseas, found 18,983 Weibo posts last month that included words like "Japan," "cherry tree" and "hanami," more than double from a year earlier.

Posts describing plans to visit Japan for cherry blossom viewing nearly tripled to 3,394 posts on a year-on-year basis, the company said.

A record 19.73 million foreign tourists came to Japan last year, according to the National Tourism Organization.

source by the-japan-news
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