Friday, April 8, 2005

Spring Is Here

It's sakura season in Japan and that means the cherry blossoms are out this week. They are beautiful -- more beautiful than I remember from the past two years -- and now the hanami are in full swing. Hanami are cherry blossom viewing parties where you sit on a square mat in a park about one inch away from a million other people sitting on square mats, and you drink beer, sing karaoke and enjoy the cherry blossoms. Because the season is so short, they occur almost every night during the one or two weeks when the trees bloom.

It also means that the weather has suddenly changed and winter is no longer. The seasons where I live in Japan are quite severe, and although I enjoy the late autumn that we get (is that still called an "Indian Summer," or is that wrong to say?) most people find themselves longing for different weather almost all the time. For me, I haven't been freezing my butt off for about three days, and I have about two weeks before I am hotter than hell, which I will be until late November. Ah, spring.

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