First-Ever Night Cherry Blossom Viewing, at Hakone - NBC Bay Area
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First-Ever Night Cherry Blossom Viewing, at Hakone

Stroll the grounds of the Saratoga landmark after-hours, over a few special nights.

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    Hakone Estate and Gardens
    Stroll the grounds of the Saratoga landmark after-hours on the evening of Wednesday, March 21 and for several nights to follow.

    SUNLIGHT SEEN THROUGH A PETAL, or several petals, or a mass of buds seen high up in a tree? Painters have long found inspiration in this golden, soft-as-a-breeze sight, not to mention the poets and gardeners and lovers and anyone who loves the beauty of nature. It can be difficult to think of something more remarkable and lovely than straight-up sunlight lending a brightness to a blossom, unless it is sunlight as reflected upon our lunar satellite. Yes, we speak of moonlight, which is sunlight's ethereal evening redirection, its glamorous guise by night. It's no surprise that petals also look rather astounding when we're enjoying them while standing beneath the stars, even those petals that belong to flowers found in the ground. But the blossoms seen along a branch? They just might catch some moonlight, or starlight, or flutter high in the breeze. If you'd like to know some of this magic, best get to Hakone Estate & Gardens for one very special event, a first-ever...

    NIGHTTIME CHERRY BLOSSOM VIEWING: The opening date for the "hanami," or "public flower viewing," is Wednesday, March 21, the hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., and NETGEAR is presenting. The admission? It's twelve dollars for an adult, and $10 for seniors and students ages 5 to 17. The flowering buds, which are quite ephemeral, lasting but a fortnight or less, will be "specially illuminated for maximum effect," so you won't only have to rely on the moon and stars to lend shimmer. And if you can't make it by night, on the opening night, March 21, or the following nights? The historic destination is open during the daytime, too, and, no, the cherry blossoms don't close up shop during the sunshine. On the contrary, they're brilliant and fluttery and perfect then, too, just as they are when the sun dips down after dark. Details? Hakone Estate & Gardens has 'em.