Photo/Illutration A scene from “101-kaime eno Hirosaki Koen no Sakura (2020),” the winner of the grand prize in the video category at the regional promotion awards (Provided by the Hirosaki city’s tourism division)

HIROSAKI, Aomori Prefecture--A video clip featuring cherry blossoms in an eerily empty Hirosaki Park here won the grand prize in the video category of the regional promotion awards.

Organized by the Tokyo-based Japan Center for Regional Development, the awards honor excellence in videos and pamphlets that promote the charms of local areas.

Titled “101-kaime eno Hirosaki Koen no Sakura (2020)” (Cherry blossoms at Hirosaki Park for the 101st installment), the video produced by Ringo Music Inc. was lauded for its mysterious and beautiful imagery of cherry blossoms at the renowned park. The four-minute, 48-second video included aerial footage taken by a drone, scenes of cherry blossoms blooming and falling, as well as tree doctors at the park.

The clip was shot when the park was closed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, which also forced the cancellation of the 100th Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival.

“It conveyed the unvisitable and deserted landscape with overwhelmingly beautiful images and editing techniques, coupled with the feelings and wishes of people who couldn’t welcome visitors and the imaginations of the audience,” said creative director Michihiko Yanai, who served as head of the six-member screening committee.

“It is a different world covered with cherry blossoms,” actress Kumiko Akiyoshi, another committee member, said of the video. “My heart cried.”

A total of 125 works were submitted to the video category.

The Hirosaki city government asked Ringo Music, also based in the city, to create the video.

“Because this year (2020) was the only chance to record the cherry blossoms with no one around, we wanted to show the video to people who were planning to attend the festival, so we asked Ringo Music (to produce the clip),” an official from the city’s tourism division said. “We hope the video will be a good motivation for visitors to come to Hirosaki next year (2021) and feel its charms.”

To view the award-winning video on YouTube, visit (