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.
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.
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.
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.
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.