Iwaki City's Tairyozakura cherry blossoms offer disaster recovery hope

In the coastal area of Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, early-blooming Tairyo-zakura are in full flower. The city's Toyoma district was severely damaged by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. The tsunami swept away more than 400 houses, or about two-thirds of the district. Public housing was built on higher ground, and local volunteers planted 50 cherry trees nine years ago in the hope of reviving what was once a bustling fishing town. The glossy pink blossoms resemble cherry bass, and have become a symbol of the district.

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