Posted by: Five Star Travel & Cruises | April 24, 2012

Japan Hopes For Tourists Return

Japan is hoping for tourists to return this year for the annual Sakura, cherry blossom, festival after last years devastating earthquake and tsunami hit the area less than two months before the festival was set to begin causing a major decrease in tourism due to safety concerns.

Festivals that normally draw hundreds of thousands, and in some places over a million people, saw visitor reductions of up to 80%, as fears of nuclear contamination from the Fukishima power plant kept tourists at bay.

Over the weekend  hundreds of workers were busy at the picturesque Hirosaki Castle Park, painting hundreds-year-old bridges and light posts along pathways, and setting up vendor tents.

Every prefecture in Tohoku hosts its own version of a cherry blossom festival, and each is anxiously hoping tourists will return this year. The sakura draw is short-lived, but the locals are optimistic that that its success will kick off a year of continued growth in tourism to this region of rivers, mountains and coastal areas that serve as the backdrop for seasonal festivals throughout the year.

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