Already Sakura in Miyako
Tokyo had the first snow in this winter. Unfortunately or fortunately, it didn´t last and the snow changed into the rain. It´s just a beginning, it will snow again, soon.
While Tokyo was excited about the short visit of the snow, 2,040 km down south in Miyako-jima (宮古島), there was already a sign of the spring.
SAKURA (桜/ cherry blossom) has bloomed.
You know, Japanese people have special feelings towards sakura and when I read this news, I felt myself a little cheered up. Yes, the spring is still many corners away but yet, I smiled as I saw this little cherry blossom just to imagine how they smell.
Not only to Japanese people, I know Sakura attracts many foreigners, too. Even this year, I´ve been already asked some Japan trip tips during the sakura season. I can only tell you that, if you don´t have enough time in Japan, it might be a little difficult to catch cherry blossoms as it is very short time.
I recommend to check Sakura forecast. There, you can see when and where you can find out full bloomed cherry blossoms.
Then I´ve found another sakura related news.
It´s been 100 years since Japan sent 3,000 cherry blossom trees to the US as a gift. It was in 1912, from the Mayor of Tokyo, Yukio Ozaki (尾崎行雄) to the 27th the US president, William Howard Taft.
They were planted along side of the Potomac River in Washington D.C.
Now after 100 years, as a return, the US government will send 3,000 hanamizuki (ハナミズキ/ Flowering Dogwood) to the affected area in Touhoku and Tokyo to cheer people up.
Every year, from 20th of March to the 27th of April, they have "Sakura Matsuri (桜祭り/ cherry blossom festival) and this year there will be many celebrations for 100 year anniversary in the D.C.
Still cold but at least we know that the spring is on the way.