Rare green cherry blossoms draw a crowd in Nara

Most people associate cherry blossoms with the color pink, but crowds are flocking to a botanical garden in western Japan to glimpse a rare variety that blooms in pale green.

Three "Gyoiko-zakura" cherry trees are located in the grounds of Kasugataisha Shrine, Nara City.

Their name is said to have come from the green-colored clothing favored by aristocrats during the Heian period, which began in the late eighth century.

The operator of the garden says the flowers will gradually turn pink over the course of a week or so.

One visitor in her 70s said she had seen the green cherry blossoms before, and came with a friend see them again.

A man in his 70s described the color as unusual, but noble.