Hiroshima Flower Festival

Hiroshima Flower Festival
Photo: hiroshima-ff.com
The city of Hiroshima, Japan is best known as the first city in history to be targeted by a nuclear weapon. Since then, much has been done to restore the city and now Hiroshima hosts a lot of cultural events which attract tourists from all over Japan and abroad. One of the city’s major events is the annual Hiroshima Flower Festival that draws about 1.6 million visitors every year.

The Hiroshima Flower Festival originated from the Central League Champion parade for a local professional baseball team. Hiroshima Toyo Carp won its first ever league championship in 1975 and the parade was held to celebrate this accomplishment. The event turned out a success and it was decided to transform it into an annual flower festival. Hiroshima’s first flower festival took place from May 3–5, 1977. Since then it has grown to become one of the most popular festivals in Japan.

The festival takes place every year during Golden Week, the period spanning the end of April to early May that contains a number of public holidays. It is the longest vacation period of the year for many Japanese workers. A lot of festivals are held during Golden Week so that more people can attend.

The Hiroshima Flower Festival has three main goals: to transform Hiroshima into a city full of flowers, greenery and music; to share the preciousness and greatness of living in peace with everyone; to export a warm-hearted personal and cultural interchange from Hiroshima to the rest of the world.

The main highlights of the festival are flower parades, about 30 stages for entertainment, and street vendors. The Hiroshima Flower Festival hosts two parades: Flower Parade on May 3 and Yosakoi Parade on May 5. Flower Parade used to have a featured performer called the Flower Singer who sang the theme song. In 2006, the Flower Singer was replaced with Flower Festival special guests. Yosakoi Parade features a unique style of dance that originated in Japan and is danced all over the country.

The festival features traditional and contemporary performances, spectacular floats and installations decorated with flowers, a small zoo, fashions shows, dancing shows, concerts, flea markets, exhibitions, and many other attractions for attendees of all ages and backgrounds. All events take place along Peace Boulevard and in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. At the entrance to the park, a giant Flower Tower is erected. Beautifully adorned with different types of flowers, it serves as the symbol of the festival.

Hiroshima Flower Festival

Photo: h_takamura




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