People flock from around the world to Japan in early spring for the traditional cherry blossom-viewing festival.
Mainland China has, in recent years, contributed its share of the tourist hordes — but some are now staying home to engage in cherry blossom viewing with Chinese characteristics.
Patriotic mainlanders were reminded of the beauty in their own backyard last year, when it was claimed that Japan’s famous cherry blossoms originated in China.
Suddenly this spring, cherry blossom viewing has become one of the most popular outdoor activities in the mainland.
Jiming Temple in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, is famous for a road flanked on both sides by cherry trees, now in bloom.
Tens of thousands of domestic tourists have been coming to enjoy the majestic sight – nearly 30,000 people last weekend alone, the Yangtse Evening Post reported.
Needless to say, not all of them were content to contemplate the view from a respectful distance.
Disappointed that the blossoms remained on the trees instead of falling in the romantic white “rain” he had come to see, one man decided to take matters into his own hands — or rather, feet.
A few sharp kicks at an uncooperative tree succeeded in persuading it to yield its blossoms for his personal enjoyment.
The man’s behavior, captured on a video clip uploaded to the internet, drew widespread condemnation from netizens. He later apologized online, china.com.cn reported.
For another visitor, a selfie with the blossoms in the background wasn’t enough.
She climbed up a cherry tree and perched on a branch to be photographed.
That picture, too, became the subject of scorn when it was uploaded to the internet.
Meanwhile, netizens in the mainland were perplexed by an image of an advertisement on a giant electronic billboard at the Shibuya 109 department store in Tokyo, chinatimes.com reported.
The ad read: “Wuhan, the capital of the world’s cherry blossoms. Welcome to Wuhan University to view cherry blossoms.”
Netizens scoffed, saying the ad was pointless, since there are already so many cherry blossoms in Japan.
Saying an ad like that could only disgrace China, an expert at the university said it is indisputable that cherry trees grown today for the appreciation of their blossoms originated from Japan.
In an ironic twist, the cherry trees at Wuhan University were planted by Japanese invaders in 1939.
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