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The online magazine HIGHLIGHTING JAPAN

APRIL 2024


The cover of this month


  • The cherry blossom—the iconic flower of Japan. The country is home to ten wild species of cherry trees, including the Yamazakura mountain cherry, which is said to climbs to over 100 different species of wild variants and cultivars in total. In fact, the Somei-Yoshino cherry, the most popular variety in Japan today, is actually a relatively new cultivar introduced in the mid-19th century. This issue of Highlighting Japan goes beyond Somei-Yoshino, introducing famous sites known for specific cherry tree varieties from ancient Japan; the Kumano cherry, first new wild species of cherry trees discovered in 100 years "Kumano-Zakura", and masterpieces of Japanese paintings depicting ancient Japanese cherry varieties.


  • Interview with Katsuki Toshio of the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute of the Forest Research and Management Organization

  • Discover Japan's latest blooming cherry blossoms, the Chishima-zakura, found in Nemuro City, Hokkaido

  • Introducing a 3-kilometer avenue of weeping cherry trees, developed along a former railway line in Kitakata City, Fukushima Prefecture

  • Highlighting the cherry blossoms of Shogetsu-ji Temple, loved as a springtime attraction in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture

  • Presenting Kumano-zakura, the first new wild species of cherry blossom discovered in 100 years

  • Introducing a Gyoiko-zakura cherry tree avenue, famed for its pale green blossoms, in Unnan City, Shimane Prefecture

  • Explore the Ryukyu Kanhi-zakura cherry blossoms in Okinawa, found on the renowned 453-meter-high Mount Yaedake on Okinawa Island

  • Introducing two works of Japanese painting highlighting the beauty of traditional cherry blossoms