Cherry blossoms lure admirers around north Asia
06:21 PM, April 13, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 09:14 PM, April 13, 2017

Cherry blossoms lure admirers around north Asia

China, Japan and South Korea may have their differences, but they mostly see eye-to-eye on cherry blossoms.

In all three north Asian countries, people flock to parks, gardens and temples to enjoy the beauty of the pinkish-white petals, often in the lingering chill of early spring.

A girl dressed up in a traditional dress poses for photography enthusiasts next to a cherry blossom tree in the Gucun Park in Shanghai March 4, 2017. Every year the cherry blossoms in this park attract hundreds of thousands of visitors. The official Cherry Blossom Festival in the Gucun park starts end of March. Photo: AFP
The shared natural heritage has been a minor source of conflict: Japan is the most well-known for cherry blossoms, but researchers in South Korea and China have argued that their country is the birthplace of the cherry tree.

The horticultural disagreement seems far removed from the "oohs" and "ahs" of the admiring crowds, busy taking selfies and photos with smartphones and DSLRs.

This picture taken on March 29, 2017 shows cherry blossoms in Tokyo. Millions of Japanese celebrate the explosion of white and pink flowers heralding the change of season, with the Tokyo area expected to hit full bloom this week. Photo: AFP

In a series of triptychs, Associated Press photographers in Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo capture the ways people in each country interact with the blossoms.

Each set of images focuses on a theme: architecture, children, couples, picnics and others. The combined photos are notable as much for their similarities as their differences.

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