This is why we can’t have nice things.

At this time of year, under normal circumstances, Sakura Furusato Square in Sakura City, in Tokyo’s neighbouring Chiba Prefecture, is crowded with tourists, who flock to the area to attend the annual Sakura Tulip Festa.

This festival of flowers showcases thousands upon thousands of tulips in full bloom, stretching out in a dazzling display of colour beneath an authentic Dutch windmill, which was built to mark 400 years of friendship between Japan and the Netherlands.

▼ An overview of the square as it appears throughout the seasons.

This year, however, the entire nation has been placed under a state of emergency, with people being urged to avoid non-essential outings in an attempt to stop the rapid spread of coronavirus. As a result, the Sakura Tulip Festa has been cancelled for 2020, but unfortunately, it hasn’t stopped people from coming to view the flowers. 

According to Sakura City, who manages the square, around 400 people were seen on the grounds at 2 p.m. on 11 April, the first weekend after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared the state of emergency for Chiba prefecture. This was despite the festival being called off and the parking lot being closed.

The nature of the square and its location, as shown in the video above, makes it difficult to cordon off against unwanted visitors. And with the tulips expected to reach full bloom this weekend, the city made the difficult decision to cut all the tulips in the field, meaning about 800,000 tulips of 100 different varieties were cut down in their prime.

▼ The tulips were cut on 14-15 April after consultations between the city and the city tourism association.

The city says the decision to cut all the tulips was regrettable but it was one that had to be made in order to stop people from visiting. Keeping the flowers in bloom would have been dangerous as it would inevitably attract crowds at a time when coronavirus cases are rising at a worryingly fast pace around the country.

People were full of praise for the city’s decision, with many expressing sadness for the farmer tasked with the job of decimating the blooms and the field of innocent flowers who sacrificed their lives to save people from themselves.

On the bright side, though, people say they’re more determined than ever to support the square by visiting once the pandemic is over, and hopefully by then there’ll be a chance to visit the nearby Ghibli waterfall too.

Source: Jin
Top image: Twitter/@Nan27133975 

● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!