KYOTO — The blossoming of a “sara soju,” or sal, tree is being celebrated in a new event created by Torinin Temple in this ancient capital.

The tree at the temple, which is attached to Myoshinji Temple in Ukyo Ward here, started blossoming about a week earlier than usual. Its blossoms, which look like white camellia blossoms and contrast sharply with the green grass on which they rest, come out in the mornings and fall in the evenings during the rainy season.

“The name of the tree appears in the ‘Tale of the Heike’ and the short life of the blossoms must touch the hearts of people,” said Genbo Nishikawa, 59, a monk at the temple. “As they look at the blossoms at the Zen temple, I would like people to appreciate the value of life.” The tree is 15 meters high and about 300 years old.

Torinin Temple will hold the event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through July 5.Fees are 1,300 yen with green tea and 5,200 yen with a Buddhist vegetarian dish. For more information call (075) 463-1334.

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