It’s Sakura time! Or, as otherwise known in English, Cherry Blossom time!
These little flowers are very important in Japan. Symbolically, they remind us about the shortness of life, and they are the flower etched onto one side of the 100 yen coin (which you probably saw in my last post, joking about 50 yen coins). This is also the symbol of the first day of school, since most of Japan starts the new year when the cheery trees bloom.
But as America has ‘Santa Tracking’ (or at least they did when I was a kid), Japan has “Sakura Tracking’. The weather reports follow the blooming blossoms until they’ve gone all over Japan, starting in Okinawa (January) and ending in Hokkaido (May).
And it’s the best time for Hanami!