The annual Yangmingshan Flower Festival is to start on Wednesday, featuring more than 3,000 cherry trees and a wide range of flowers, including azaleas, camellias and peach blossoms.
The festival, which is to run until March 9, is to take place at Yangmingshan Park (陽明山).
Yangmingshan National Park’s management office director Kao Min-dien (高民典) said several areas near the park — including the Chiang Kai-shek Shilin Residence, Shuangxi Park, Lin Yu-tang House, the Floriculture Experiment Center, Qianshan Park and Yangming Park — will also serve as venues for the festival.
Kao said about 50 percent to 70 percent of cherry trees will be in blossom during the Lunar New Year holidays, which start on Thursday, and more than 80 percent of cherry trees and other flowers will be in blossom by the end of next month.
The city has stepped up its efforts to promote cherry blossom viewing in Taipei after the Japanese custom gained popularity in Taiwan.
The office said the cherry trees in the Yangmingshan area included the Taiwan cherry (山櫻), double cherry (八重櫻), Japanese showa cherry (昭和櫻) and somei-yoshino cherry (吉野櫻).
Free guided tours for cherry blossom and flower viewing will be available every Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting from Feb. 10.
Visitors can register for the tours at the Yangmingshan Park’s tourism center.
Taipei’s Department of Transportation urged visitors to take public transportation to reach Yangmingshan National Park.
Traffic control measures will be enforced along Yangde Boulevard during the festival, with vehicles entering the Yangmingshan area during weekends being checked at Fuxing Bridge from 6am to 4pm for permits allowing them to drive up the boulevard. Vehicles leaving the area will be checked for permits from 2pm to 6pm.
The department said the number of visitors is expected to reach its climax on Sunday next week, and flexible traffic measures will be enforced during the festival.