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In San Francisco, it's cherry blossom time (maybe).

For almost 20 years, San Francisco has celebrated the blossoming of its flowering cherry trees. Blossom-time events take place in Golden Gate Park and Japan-town. Actual bloom time depends on variety and weather, and comes in March or April. To find when bloom begins, call (415)558-4268.

In Golden Gate Park. The park has several hundred flowering cherry trees along South Drive and in Strybing Arboretum and the Japanese Tea Garden.

In the tea garden at noon on March 25, traditional Japanese dancers will perform in the hour-long Cherry Blossom Festival Preview. In case of rain, the event will be held in Gruhn Court of the nearby Asian Art Museum.

Note the tea garden's three impressive new gates. They replace badly deteriorating gates (one built in 1893, the other two in 1915). Made of hinoki cypress, the new ones were constructed in Japan. Craftsmen built the gates using ancient techniques, then came to the city to assemble them; no nails were used, just bamboo pegs. Perfectly balanced, they rest on stone bases, needing no anchoring. The tea garden is open from 9 to 5 daily. Admission is $1, 50 cents for seniors and ages 6 through 12. Note that John F. Kennedy Drive through the park is closed to cars on Sundays; parking is difficult.

In Japantown. The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival takes place on two weekends--April 19 and 20, April 26 and 27--from noon to 5 each day, with a parade on the 27th. All events are free and include taiko (drum) and koto (lutelike instrument) performances, martial arts demonstrations, and a food bazaar. Japantown is bounded by Post, Geary, Filmore, and Laguna streets, and has parking available in an underground garage. Arrive early to park on parade day; the parade starts at Civic Center at 1 P.M.
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Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Mar 1, 1986
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