CHIBA >> About 800,000 colorful tulips in bloom were cut from their stems at the Sakura Furusato Square in Sakura, Chiba Prefecture, to help deter visitors and prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Following the central government’s announcement April 7 of a state of emergency, Sakura’s government canceled its annual Sakura Tulip Festa for a week and closed the parking lot.
But with the square easily accessible, visitors flocked to the site anyway, forcing the city’s decision to cut the flowers on April 14 and 15. Some of the blossoms, from 100 species of tulip, were donated to a Sakura nursery school.
“It’s sad, but we have to stop the spread of the virus as quickly as possible,” said a spokesperson for the Sakura City Tourist Association. “We hope the day comes soon when we can all enjoy the flowers again.”