Spring comes to Las Vegas — indoors, anyway. The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens has just unveiled a Japanese-themed spring exhibit full of fragrant flowers and seasonal symbolism.
Visitors enter the conservatory through two 25-foot torii gates, similar to those found outside Japan’s Shinto shrines.
Adorned with pink and white flowers, the gates rise beside a pathway lined with eight cherry trees. In Japanese culture, their delicate, pink blossoms are symbolic of the fleeting nature of life.
Other symbolic blooms — giant lotus flowers — float atop a pond beside a rushing waterfall in the South Garden. In Japan, the lotus is revered for its ability to flower in even the murkiest water. It’s emblematic of the journey to enlightenment.
A few steps away in the West Garden, the whimsical shape of a woman rises from another pool. In the palm of one of her outsize hands rests a pearl that’s 12 feet in diameter. It represents the Japanese wish for prosperity. Hanging from the figure’s arms are vines of wisteria, which symbolize longevity. Wisteria can live for 100 years.
A team of 125 workers helped create the Conservatory’s remarkable displays, which contain roughly 65,000 flowers.
The celebration of spring continues through June 3 and can be viewed 24 hours a day.