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Vilnius residents were greeted with a long-awaited sight on Tuesday as the Japanese cherry blossoms near the Baltasis Tiltas (White Bridge) over the Neris river bloomed for the first time this season.
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

The good news was met with even more from decorative tree specialist Kęstutis Ptakauskas. “I think that the sakuras should bloom for longer this year – for two or three weeks. That's all because it isn't hot. Of course, it would be good if there weren't any wind as well, because it shakes the blossoms off.”

The sakura park was planted in Vilnius in 2001 on the 100th anniversary of the birthday of Chiune Sugihara, who was the Vice-Consul for the Japanese empire in Lithuania during World War II. He is known to have helped 6,000 Jews escape Europe by issuing them Japanese visas.

The park has become an annual attraction for Vilnius' residents, who consider the sakura bloom to be the beginning of the spring season.

Check out these photos of this year's first sakura blossoms below.

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