“Had No Choice”: Japan Cancels Tulip Festival, Cuts 100,000 Flowers


'Had No Choice': Japan Cancels Tulip Festival, Cuts 100,000 Flowers

Japan’s tally of coronavirus infections stood at 11,500 on Wednesday.

TOKYO:

Flower lovers in Japan will have to wait until next year to tip-toe through the tulips after a park razed more than 100,000 stems to comply with social-distancing rules to help control the coronavirus.

Officials in the city of Sakura, 50 km east of Tokyo, mowed the tulip beds at “Sakura Furusato Hiroba” and cancelled an annual tulip festival to discourage people from congregating after a coronavirus emergency was declared last week.

“Many visitors came on the weekend when the flowers were in full bloom. It became a mass gathering so we had no choice but to make the decision to cut the flowers,” said Sakiho Kusano, a city tourism official.

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A worker dismantles a pathway in a field in the Sakura Furusato Square after over 100,000 tulips were cut off to avoid people visiting, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

Japan’s tally of coronavirus infections stood at 11,500 on Wednesday.

Despite the absence of the pink and red flowers that usually carpet the 7,000-square-metre tulip gardens at this time of year, the park is drawing a smattering of visitors.

“It’s very, very, very unfortunate. My mood sank when I saw this,” 77-year-old visitor Misako Yonekubo said on Wednesday.

The cut flowers were donated to kindergartens.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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