Hanoians crowd into cherry blossom festival
Update: Apr 12, 2009
Hundreds of thousands of Hanoians on April 12 flocked to the Quan Ngua Sports Palace to experience the sight and smell of 600 blossoming cherry branches flown in from Japan.

The official opening of the annual Japanese Sakura Festival, the third of its kind in Vietnam, saw the presence of Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem and Hanoi authority leaders.

Visitors eagerly experienced Japan’s cultural characters through a series of art performances, specialties and Origami paper-folding skills.

Fifteen groups of dancers from Japan and hundreds of Vietnamese youths entertained the locals along the streets leading to the palace with exciting Yosakoi parade dances.

The festival was organised by the Vietnam-Japan Cultural Exchange Association to celebrate 999 years of Thang Long-Hanoi’s anniversary.