Japan's Flower-Power Diplomacy: Welcoming the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Berlin

The splendor of the cherry blossoms, more impressive every year as the trees grow older, is an expression of the friendship between Japan and Germany

April 08th, 2019
Margareta Calugher, News from Berlin
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On April 14th, the Berlin’s « Gardens of the world » welcomes its visitors for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. From 12 to 5 pm, visitors can enjoy a broad range of entertainment and stage program at Gärten der Welt, Blumberger Damm 44, 12685 Berlin.

Visitors can picnic or stroll under the cherry blossom trees as several stalls will offer numerous treats and craftsmanship from Asia. The cosplayer competition that has become now an integral part of the cherry blossom festival, will award the most authentic costume.

The history behind the cherry trees of Berlin dates back to 1990, shortly after the Berlin Wall had come down, when the Japanese television network TV Asahi launched the Sakura Campaign to raise funds for cherry tree donations to Berlin. As a gesture of the Japanese people's great interest in the events of German reunification and the friendship between Japan and Germany, about €1 million in donations was collected for the planting of Japanese cherry trees in Germany. In Japan, cherry blossom symbolizes renewal and vitality and these trees should bring "peace and tranquility to the hearts of the people".

The donations made possible the planting of over 9,000 trees in Berlin and Brandenburg, notably in places that played a special role during the German division. The first trees were planted in November 1990 at Glienicker Brücke (Glienicke Bridge), a site that had symbolized the division of Germany. Nowadays we can find there two stretches of cherry trees replacing and reminding us of the path of the Wall.


News from Berlin