Japan’s 1,000-Year-Old Cherry Tree Blossoms Again

In Japan’s Miharu (a town in the Fukushima Prefecture), a 1,000-year-old cherry tree continues to blossom. While there are no tourists flocking to see it this year, the tree—known as the Takizakura—is as glorious and mesmerizing as ever for those who live nearby. One such individual is Sidafumi Hirata, who has visited the tree since his childhood and is now at the helm of a team protecting it and the rest of the town’s cultural heritage. The Takizakura (aka “waterfall cherry tree”) has survived wars, earthquakes, plagues, and a nuclear disaster. Hirata checks it often. “Whenever I went out, I worried. I had to see if she’s OK or not,” Hirata tells NPR. “But every time I saw that she’s still standing, unchanged, it was always a relief. No matter what, the cherry blossoms are still there.” A timely reminder that nature forges on, the uplifting interview is available to read or listen to at NPR.