ALBUQUERQUE, NM--For centuries people in Japan have gathered with friends and family during the fleeting weeks of Hanami, or flower viewing season. The ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden joins the celebration with special guided tours through the Japanese Garden throughout April.

Every Wednesday in April at 10 and 11 a.m., join docents on guided walks through the Sasebo Japanese Garden. Learn about the garden's many varieties of flowering cherries and other blossoms, and the history of Japan's Hanami celebrations. The first two Hanami tours, on April 2 and 9, will also feature Hana Matsuri, the celebration of the Buddah's birth. Tours meet near the entrance of the Japanese Garden. No reservations are required; tours are included with regular admission.

"This is the time when the crabapples and cherry blossoms are at their height," says Tallie Segel, Botanic Garden Education Coordinator. "Because they are so dramatic, we'll focus on the variety of cherry trees. Guests who go on these special tours will also learn about this history and design of the Sasebo Japanese Garden and Japanese Hanami traditions."

If you miss the Hanami tours, you can still enjoy a guided tour of the Japanese Garden on Wednesdays throughout the year. Call BioPark Education at 505-848-7180 for additional information.