At famous cherry-blossom viewing (hanami) spots across the country, signs have sprouted asking for people to keep hanami blossom viewing parties to the daylight hours, following electricity shortages in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11.
Such signs can be seen at Ueno Park, Inokashira Park and Yasukuni Shrine, all popular spots for seeing the pink leaves in Tokyo.
Some festivals have already been canceled such as the Ujigawa Sakura Matsuri near Byodoin Temple in Uji, south Kyoto and the 2011 Sanja Matsuri in Tokyo, slated for May 20-22, will not now take place along with the Nikko Toshogu Shrine Spring Grand Festival scheduled for May 17-18. It is also possible that the Kanda Matsuri, due to be held May 12-18, may be canceled this year.
Elsewhere evening illuminations have been turned off at the Fukuoka Castle Cherry Blossom Festival and at Kazagashira and Tateyama parks in Nagasaki paper lanterns will not be illuminated this year.
The above sign is in Toyohashi Park near Yoshida Castle and asks people to understand that the park will not be hosting any hanami parties after dark.
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