Cherry Blossom Report - 2014

The latest Cherry Blossom Report for 2014 was announced today!

This report, issued by the Japan Weather Association, is the long-awaited first sign of spring and means that cherry blossoms - sakura (桜) in Japanese - will start to bloom all over Japan in the coming weeks.

On this date, March 12, Kochi (高知) prefecture is predicted to be the first place where you will be able to see the famous florescent cherry blossoms in Japan starting from March 18. After that, cherry blossoms will start blooming in the Kyushu region in Kumamoto (熊本) and Nagasaki (長崎) prefectures around March 21.

The timing of this year's cherry blossoms is about same as usual except that they might start blooming 3 or 4 days earlier in the Kyushu and Shikoku regions and 3 or 4 days later in the Kanto, Koshin, and Hokkaido regions.

If you are planning to visit Tokyo or Osaka at the beginning of April, you should feel lucky! You will witness one of the most beautiful seasons in Japan, and most importantly, you will be allowed to enjoy observing cherry blossoms while getting hammered on beer and sake outside without any hassle by police officers. :P

 

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As part of its 2014 "SAKURA" series, Starbucks Japan is going to release a seasonal cherry blossom-themed latte and frappuccino on February 15.

They are called "Sakura Chocolate Latte with Strawberry Flavor Topping" and "Sakura Chocolate Frappuccino with Strawberry Flavor Topping".

This year is the 30th anniversary of the release in Japan of internationally loved ice cream brand, Häagen-Dazs.

To celebrate it, today they released 2 new seasonal flavors - 30th Anniversary Sakura (Sakura means cherry blossom in Japanese) and 30th Anniversary Rose. These 2 flavors are Häagen-Dazs's first flower-flavored ice creams.

Powdered cherry blossom petals, cherry sauce and salt are mixed in the softly-pink-colored Sakura flavored ice cream. It also has Sakura flavored sauce topping.

SanktGallen, a microbrewery from Atsugi, Kanagawa prefecture, is going to release Sakura-mochi flavored beer -  called "Sakura" - in a limited quantity on February 27.

Sakura-mochi is a seasonal rice cake filled with sweet bean paste and wrapped in preserved cherry leaf. Less hops are used for this Sakura beer to maximize the Sakura flavors extracted from cherry blossom petals and leaves.

Price: ¥450 (330ml)

A slightly pink-colored burger called Sakura Teritama is going to be released tomorrow until mid-April from McDonald's Japan.

The basic teritama burger is one of the most popular seasonal burgers from McDonald's that you can buy in Japan.  It is a pork patty coated with Teriyaki sauce and cooked egg.

Now they have announced the release of a very special Cherry Blossom version - Sakura Teritama!

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The Japanese and anyone else lucky enough to be here are celebrating an intermittently occurring secular holiday that spans an entire month. Various gatherings, parties, festivals, and no-real-reason-necessary events with groups from a just a few people to several thousand are currently being held across the entire nation. One famous robot, too.

Weathernews released a service called Sakura Simulator which allows you to monitor the current blooming situation of cherry blossoms all over Japan.

It was revealed that Tokyo Tower will be cast in pink-colored light for one day only to celebrate the official announcement by the Japan Meteorological Agency that cherry blossom trees in Tokyo are in bloom.

The project is the first attempt for Tokyo Tower and it is called Sakura Kaika Pink Diamond Veil (Sakura Kaika means "blossoming of the cherry blossoms"). According to some weather sources, the announcement will be made sometime this week.

The main photo is an image of Tokyo Tower covered with Sakura colored lights.

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McDonald's Japan is currently selling new spring drinks, Sakurambo Frappe and Sakurambo Mocha. Sakurambo means cherry in Japan. It is available for a limited time only and will be sold until late April.

Sakurambo Frappe is a non-coffee frozen drink based on home-grown cherry syrup. Strawberry candy is sprinkled on the whipped cream.

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If you're reading AkihabaraNews then you've probably got some kind of interest in Japan and have already seen a pile of cherry blossom galleries this year. But how much of the actual hanami did you see? Galleries of flowers are a ¥10 for a dozen, but actual humans doing actual hanami - much more interesting.