A cherry blossom festival has been held at Hirano Shrine every year since the year 985! It is the oldest annual festival in Kyoto. Food vendors and other stalls line the paths, small lanterns are strung through the trees, and all the bigger lanterns of the shrine add their warm glow to the scene, and over it all hang the branches of many beautiful weeping cherry trees.
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I came to Japan in 2003 to teach English. I lived in Shiga prefecture for 1 year, and it still holds a special place in my heart. I lived in Kyoto for 9 years, then moved to Machida, Tokyo in 2014 after meeting my Japanese partner. I love to take photos, and my Japan in Pictures Facebook page has some 40,000 followers. I have been the Regional Partner for Yamanashi Prefecture since 2014.I am enjoying exploring the prefectures around Tokyo (I like to get off the beaten track), and I hope the photos and stories I share will encourage more people to discover this wonderful country.