Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ready for Spring

The days are starting to get longer, and though it's still cold there are moments when I think that soon I won't have to bundle up every time I go outside.  It's been so sunny that I find myself wanting to do lots of outdoor activities (and then getting outside and remembering how cold it actually is and what a wimp I am).  I've heard this winter has been unusually cold, and though I know I'm going to regret even thinking this when I'm melting in the summer heat, I'm really excited for the weather to warm up.

I think that all of Japan probably shares my feelings because everyone is gearing up for spring.  And spring means Sakura (cherry blossoms).  The Ume (plum blossoms) are already here.  Many neighborhoods and shrines are having plum blossom festivals.  This week I picked up some peach blossoms (we think, though they look very much like plum blossoms) to decorate the apartment.  But cherry blossoms are the main event!

Starbucks is ready with Sakura themed cups
In fact, each year they make a special line of sakura cups that are only sold in Japan.  It seems that I get excited about every seasonal event, but especially so about flowers, so I had to buy one.

Filled with coffee it's supposed to look like sakura at night

They even have a special drink - Sakura White Hot Chocolate.  John hated it.  I thought it was nice in the beginning, but by the end it was overpoweringly sweet.

It looks better than it tastes
But Starbucks is not alone in the excitement.

These taste great!
The beer is ready for spring!

Sakura Liqueur
Expect sakura cocktail recipes to come soon!

As exciting as all the sakura themed products are, I'm way more excited for the actually flowers, and to try out the viewing parties.  I hear they can be magical and beautiful and gorgeous.  I also hear they can be claustrophobic with lots of people crowded together getting wasted.  A full report to come in April.

But even better, I'm looking forward to a spring full of days outside, evenings of cocktails on rooftops, and not having to wear a puffy coat, scarf, and gloves all the time.

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