For hundreds of years it has been a Japanese custom to organise parties in the springtime to view the newly blossomed cherry-trees and to celebrate the season with singing, dancing, and sake.
GV People at Ueno Park.
SV People arriving at park.
CU Cherry blossoms.
GV Cherry blossoms TILT DOWN TO people dancing, drinking and watching dancers. (6 SHOTS)
TRAVELLING SHOT People sitting in groups in park.
GVs Family group.
SV PAN Uniformed officers walk through park.
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Background: For hundreds of years it has been a Japanese custom to organise parties in the springtime to view the newly blossomed cherry-trees and to celebrate the season with singing, dancing, and sake.
SYNOPSIS: This year a warm winter and a few early spring days has brought the Tokyo cherry trees into blossom a few days earlier than usual. There is no more popular place to view the cherry-blossoms than in Ueno Park, in downtown Tokyo.
The cherry-blossom has a special significance to the Japanese. It is beautiful, yet has such as short life that for some Japanese philosophers it symbolises the transitory nature of life and all worldly pleasures. And so the reason for the hana-mi-zake parties ...or as they are sometimes called "flower-seeing-sake.
Ueno Park has a significant place in Japanese history. It was the site of the final battle between the forces of the Tokugawa shogun and supporters of the Emperor...which led directly to the Meiji Restoration in 1868 and thus the foundation of modern Japan.
The cherry tree is planted throughout Japan and is regarded a s celebrating the start of the spring. The brilliant blossoms attract tourist from all over the world.
But cherry blossom time is one even greater importance to the local people. The area around Ueno Park is populated by the "Edokko", the descendants of the people who lived in the Tokyo area for thousands of years before millions of outsiders flocked to the capital. The Japanese say the joy of the cherry blossom festival is something that everyone should experience at least once in their life.