In its ninth year, Gardens by the Bay’s Sakura floral display brings a new twist to its beloved showcase. For the first time, visitors can revel in the beauty of cherry blossoms from day to night, inspired by the picturesque city of Kyoto. The highlight of this year’s display is the iconic Kinkakuji Temple, inviting guests to step into a recreated masterpiece and feel as though they are wandering through the UNESCO World Heritage site itself.

As the sun sets, the floral display undergoes a mesmerizing transformation. The Sakura trees are illuminated, creating a “yozakura” (night sakura) ambiance that mirrors the enchanting night landscapes seen in many Japanese cities during the Sakura season. The display is further enhanced by projections that create the illusion of a stream filled with koi fish or streets scattered with fallen Sakura petals.

This year’s exhibition boasts over 140 cherry blossom trees, featuring more than 40 varieties, including crowd favorites like the Prunus Accolade and Prunus Kiku Shidare. Visitors can also look forward to the introduction of a new European plum blossom species, the Prunus domestica, which stands out with its white to pale pink flowers.

The essence of Kyoto is captured through various elements within the display, such as a traditional thatched house reminiscent of Miyama Village, an engawa (a contemplative veranda), and a sozu (a bamboo water fountain). There’s also a chozuya (a purification basin) and ema (prayer plaques), adding to the authentic Japanese experience.

Adding to the allure are Ikebana arrangements by local societies, which will be nestled in the landscape. As day turns to night, the Flower Dome transitions into a captivating “yozakura” scene, with soft lights casting a gentle glow on the blossom trees.

In conjunction with the Sakura floral display, Gardens by the Bay is also hosting Japanese cultural activities and the return of Anime Garden. These events offer a deep dive into Japanese traditions and modern culture, from traditional tea ceremonies and mochi-pounding demonstrations to performances by regional cosplay artists and Japanese music concerts.

The Sakura floral display is not just a feast for the eyes but also an opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Japanese culture. With its day-to-night experience, this year’s edition promises to be an unforgettable journey through the beauty and charm of Sakura season.

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