'Sakura' in PH: Cherry blossom park to open in Benguet
MANILA, Philippines – You may not have to book that flight to Japan or Korea to get to experience the cherry blossom season, as the first sakura or cherry blossom park is set to open in Benguet.
According to a report from CNN Philippines, over 30 cherry blossom-producing trees, along with other tree species from Japan were planted in Atok to celebrate the 40th anniversary of ties between the Kochi prefecture and Benguet province. These trees are expected to bloom in 3 years. (READ: Budget guide and itinerary: Cherry blossom season in central Japan)
The park will be situated 2,000 meters above sea level and will be opened to campers. The Philippine Star said that Atok is about a 3-hour drive away from Baguio. (READ: Planning your cherry blossom Japan adventure: 5 beautiful viewing spots)
Around 100 trees were also planted in November 2015, CNN Philippines reported; however, only few survived as they were planted during an inappropriate time.
Officials from the Atok municipality as well as representatives from Kochi and the Japanese embassy attended the planting event.
A Facebook post from the Philippine Information Agency in Cordillera said that representatives from the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) were also there.
"The two agencies committed to support the project not only in the preservation of the environment and natural resources but also as tourist destination once the trees will grow and bear flowers," the post read.
The cherry blossom season in countries such as Japan constantly draw tourists during springtime – around late March to early May. Visitors to the country go to view the light pink flowers of the sakura trees in full bloom.
In major Japanese cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka, the average first bloom begins around March and the average full bloom happens in early April, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization website. – Rappler.com