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Japanese Mayor Visits Yangmingshan’s Cherry Blossoms

*The scenery of Yangming Mountain is beautiful, and so are its cherry blossoms – so much so that even a delegation from the Japanese city of Hannan, famed for its cherry blossoms, has crossed the sea to behold the beauty of Yangmingshan. On his recent official visit to Taiwan, Hannan mayor Toshihiro Fukuyama had only half a day to spare in his busy schedule, and he chose to spend it in Yangmingshan National Park. Marveling at the floral abundance along and around Cherry Blossom Streams Area, the mayor exclaimed that, in Japan, daffodils, Keio-zakura (cherry blossom), and azaleas do not bloom at the same time, but here they do, and it is a sight to behold. He was next given a tour around the permanent exhibition at the Chou Shan Cultural Time Capsule on the second floor of the Xinhai-guangfu Building to introduce the history and culture of Yangmingshan as well as the flora and fauna of the area.
 
The Yangmingshan Flower Festival is a highlight on nature’s calendar, as well as on those of garden loving Taiwanese and foreign tourists. The Parks and Street Lights Office (PSLO) spends much time and effort every year to create beautiful landscapes around Yangmingshan National Park. This year, the PSLO has created flower beds and topiaries inspired by the theme of “Cute Animals,” conveying a merry atmosphere with colorful flowers and happy animals prancing about enjoying the springtime.
 
The Flower Clock Plaza in the national park is also different this time around. The PSLO has planted tulips and hyacinths and created naughty little squirrels, mascots that herald spring in Yangmingshan. The squirrels are spread out and hidden around the plaza, as if playing hide-and-seek and adding a playful touch to the place. This year’s edition of the Flower Clock Plaza has already become a hotspot for selfies.
 
Floriculture Experiment Center (FEC) Chief Sung Fu-hua noted that pink carnations and white-petalled silver ragwort have been planted in safety islands on Zhishan Road, Guoan Park along Yangde Boulevard, the FEC itself, Hushan Road, Cherry Blossom Streams Area, the fountain pond, and the visitor service center in Yangmingshan National Park, covering the land with a pink carpet of cherry blossoms and their sister flowers, creating a dreamy pink world of springtime tenderness. Animal-shaped bushes can be seen everywhere waving at visitors and especially welcoming the children who have come to seek them out in their lovely spring habitat of Yangmingshan. The FEC has also planted flower beds at the Chinese Culture University’s Hwa Kang Museum on a hilltop in the same national park. The museum currently features a traveling exhibition titled Flowers and Birds Ink Paintings, which will run through March 17. The Showa sakura flowers are halfway through their blooming period now, as are the tulips, English larkspur, and other companion flowers. This is the best time to come and take in their fragrance and beauty!
 
During the Yangmingshan Flower Festival, traffic control measures will be in force at the entrance to Yangde Boulevard daily from 7:00-16:00. Passenger vehicles and vans without entry permits must detour around Yangmingshan National Park. The measure will be strictly enforced and violators will be fined. As parking spots are limited, visitors are advised to use public transport to go up the mountain. The Yangmingshan Flower Season website offers helpful traffic directions.