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Japan celebrates strong ties with a number of German cities and spring serves as a reminder of this connection with Cherry Blossom Festivals in late April and early May each year. The cherry blossom is a symbol of impermanence and beauty as it can only be admired for a few days a year.

Hamburg, one of Japan’s nine sister cities, is home to almost 2,000 Japanese people as well as more than 100 Japanese companies. The Japanese community has been hosting the annual Kirschblütenfest (“Cherry Blossom Festival”) since 1968. Every year in May, a colorful mix of fireworks, music, sports, film, art and culinary delights strengthens community ties. A total of 5,000 cherry trees have been donated by the Japanese community and are planted along the Alster lakes and in the Altonaer Balkron park.

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