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When fields at the base of Japan's Mt. Fuji turn bright pink, and not just from cherry blossoms

When fields at the base of Japan's Mt. Fuji turn bright pink, and not just from cherry blossoms
The flower festival known as the 2018 Fuji Shiba-sakura Festival takes place at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan. (Fuji Kyuko Co., Ltd.)

If you want to see one of Japan’s more spectacular flower displays, mark your calendar for April and May. That’s when fields below famed Mt. Fuji will turn a bright pink during the 2018 Shiba-sakura Festival.

Shiba-sakura are low-lying moss phlox, which produce arresting pink hues that contrast with the snowcapped peak in the distance. Among the 800,000 flowering plants, visitors will see eight types of shiba-sakura as well as some cherry blossoms.

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The festival will take place April 14 to May 27 at the Fuji Motosuko Resort, located less than two hours west of Tokyo.

Moss phlox, by the way, is native to North America, not Asia. The planted beds bloom with colors similar to those of cherry blossoms. Phlox, a creeper plant, also is much closer to the ground than the trees.

During the festival, visitors will find local food specialties, such as sweet bean buns shaped like Mt. Fuji and pork soup made from the meat of specially bred pigs.

Tickets to the festival cost 600 yen ($5.67) for adults, 250 yen ($2.36) for children 3 and older.

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