Zara Douglas-Clifford and Nina Usui, both 10, from Japan’s Kids Group, under one of Miyazu Gardens’ Cherry Blossom Trees. Photo: Jessie Johnston.

Blossom festival shines

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The cherry blossoms took centre stage once again during the 13th Cherry Blossom Festival at Miyazu Gardens on Sunday.

Around 2000 people stepped out to enjoy a programme of music, food and entertainment in celebration of Spring and Nelson’s long standing relationship with its Japanese sister city, Miyazu. “We were very happy with the turn out and we were particularly happy that the weather shone on us, it was a perfect day,” says chairperson of the Nelson Miyazu Sister City association, Lyndal McMeeking.

For over 30 years the two cities have enjoyed the benefits of each other’s cultures and friendship, and Lyndal says there are around 150 Japanese families living in the Nelson area.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is now a well-established event on the Nelson calendar and featured a full-on day of entertainment, with performances by the Raijin Taiko Drummers, big brush calligraphy, Akiko Miyamoto the Puppeteer, Aikido and Seido Karate demonstrations.