We Love Cherry Blossoms
Mar 06,2009
dango.jpg

Well March is graduation season in Japan.
April is a beginning of a new year in Japan. School starts in April and fresh graduates also start working from April.

I think some anime fans know that Japanese middle schools and high schools have uniforms. It is a tradition in Japan for the girl to get the second button on the uniform jacket from the boy she loves on graduation day. I heard that it's the second button because it is closest to his heart.
Some popular boys even loose all his buttons on his uniform when too many girls ask for it.

Another thing that comes to my mind when I think of March are cherry blossoms.
I don't think anybody knows how much Japanese loves cherry blossoms. There is even a forecast of when the cherry trees would bloom when it comes to this season.
And when the forecast tells that this weekend would come into full bloom, people take their picnic sheets and Japanese sake (alcohol) and eat and drink under the cherry blossoms from noon. Some people take the sheets the night before to save the spot under the best cherry tree. Some parties go over night. Japanese may seem very serious and not the partying type. But when it comes to cherry blossom parties, many people go crazy.

We enjoy every bit of cherry blossoms including blizzards of falling cherry blossom petals. It is very romantic to walk through a soft blizzard of flower petals.

The picture is called a dango which is a dessert made of rice flour. It is sweet and "mochimochi". I can not find a word to express this in English but Japanese loves "mochimochi" food. It's somewhere between sticky, chewy and springy. I always thought that "sticky" is only a word that Japanese likes to have for food. The word "mochi mochi" is used for many food ads. The feeling is something like melted cheese. It's sticky, and stringy but good don't you think?

We eat dango all the time but during the cherry blossom season we eat this specific color version. The pink ball represents cherry blossom, white is spring air and green represents the coming summer.


See you next week.




We Love Cherry Blossoms Comments

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Very nice Manababy!!!

I LOVE CHERRYBLOSSOMS!! ^w^ They are so beautiful, and it is to no surprise that the Japanese love them so much! I even painted a cherry blossom tree for a painting class of mine, in "impasto" style, where there is a texture to it, like Van Gogh's "Starry Night". it was going to go into an art show.. but I didn't finish it in time >w<;

I am planning to go to Japan in a couple years and cannot wait to see the cherry blossoms. From what I've seen on the internet and on anime, etc, it is truly a sight to see!! I remember this episode of "Hamtaro", where they did exactly as you mentioned!! Making bento and staking out the perfect tree, and there were hundreds of other people!! So beautiful!!

It was interesting to read about the Japanese drinking osake under the cherry blossoms, where I live, you cannot drink alcohol unless it is in a specified "drinking zone", that means "no drinking in public areas"...

Thank you!



by keri : Mar 07,2009
oh.. and I see CDJapan has obtained more copies of the "Klonoa 2" soundtrack. You guys are all so nice.. (But I'm disappointed to say I already bought it somewhere else :(

Thank you all at CDJapan so very much!! You are what gives the definition to "customer service"..

Oh.. and Manababy, do you like "kagrra,"? I really do, they create very beautiful music! I cannot wait until their new album comes out..

I think there music would be very appropriate for the cherry blossom season!!
by keri : Mar 07,2009
I love cherry blossoms, too! They're so beautiful to look at. I have this lotion that's called "Cherry Blossom." Cherries and flowers smell good!

kerri, I would love to go to Japan, too!! My fantasy is to attend my favorite artist's concert with my friends. And get lost in Tokyo's subway system hahaha!!
by Jen : Mar 07,2009
^Jen, I have Cherry blossom perfume and lotion too! ^w^ it's very nice any spring-like!!

That is my absolute dream, once I see my favorite bands (maybe even meet them!!) I can die happily!! ^w^ ..

Getting lost would be fine with me!! because that means.. I'm in Japan!! :)
by keri : Mar 07,2009
^ I would die happily if I get to see my favorite artist too!! But to get tickets to the concert as a foreigner... I need to figure that out.
by Jen : Mar 07,2009
mochi mochi...sticky like daifuku? I had ice mochi mochi at a Japanese restaurant before.

Haha...I remember the button thing from Proposal Daisakusen!! ^__^
by wohjai : Mar 07,2009
Mmmmmmmm... OISHIIII!!! NE? This would be an excellent candy for spring season. I will like to probe this rare thing at least one time. This thing have a shape of an icecream!!! Je,je.
by Ken007 : Mar 09,2009
Concerned
This is kind of a random question... But I was wondering what controls the cut-off for First Press in music? The CDJapan newsletter came for Dir en Grey's "Tour08 tRTA" DVD twice, and one said the date for first press cut-off was 3/5, and the next said 3/9? It is the 8th, and it has already discontinued. Is it the 9th in Japanese time? I am very sad that I missed it. :{
by Brook : Mar 09,2009
?? what cut off? and what first press?
Does it comes in first press and not? i thought the limited one is already special~ T^T ..
by v : Mar 09,2009
Hi Brook
Are you talking about catalog no: SFBD-17 and SFBD-20?
If yes, the pre-order deadlines are both March 18th. So you can still receive first press.
I am very sorry if our mail indicated March 5th and 9th. Are there any other people who received our newsletter indicating the same deadline?

by Manababy : Mar 10,2009
I want to see cherryblossoms!
I'll be in Tokyo from April, 6th so I hope to see them!
About dango, I ate them during a japanese matsuri in Milan and I liked them! This matsuri was organized by the japanese community living in Milan. There is a school with only japanese people from kids (6 years old) to high school students ('til 18 years old)! One of my japanese teachers, Yasuda sensei, lives in Milan with his family and her daughters attend that school! it's really all-japanese style, even the bell X3
by Takeru : Mar 11,2009
Kery, it's awesome that your painting is going to be exhibited at an art show. I envy you that you are good in drawing.
It's funny that you learned about cherry blossom picnic in "Hamtaro". And it is suprising that you are only allowed to drink alcohol in special drinking zones.
We can get alcohol from vending machines on the street. But it's bad because underaged kids can buy it.

I actually don't know much about Kagrra. Tell me about them! Which member do you like the best?
by Manababy : Mar 12,2009
Cherry Blossom Lotion
Keri and Jen,
I love cherry blossom-scented lotion too!! But those lotions are only available in the springtime in Japan because they only sell it while it's the cherry blossom season. You can also tell the season when you see the snacks sold out. Because in March we have "cherry blossom" flavored Kit Kats. It's white and pink and so cute.
by Manababy : Mar 12,2009
wohjai, you know daifuku? Well then that is exactly what I wanted to explain. It's mostly the same as daifuku but just molded in a smaller ball shape.
Daifuku has a filling inside but dango has a sauce or somekind of paste for the flavoring.

Ken, ya I guess to you it looks like an triple ice-cream scoops but actually much smaller. One ball is smaller than a ping-pong ball.
by Manababy : Mar 12,2009
Cherry blossom kit kats? I gotta try those!!

It sucks that the lotions are only sold during that season. The store I got my lotion is sold all year round, and the scent is very popular. Let's see, there's Cherry blossom, Japanese cherry blossom, Blushing cherry blossom (found out about the new scent while shopping the other day), ummm... couldn't think up anything else; however there is magnolia blossom (I think it's discontinued...)
by Jen : Mar 12,2009
Wow! That°«s extremely surprising that there are alcohol vending machines! Where I live there are also laws about what types of stores can sell alcohol, like you can°«t buy liquor at the grocery store, but have to go somewhere specific for alcohol!! AND, there is still is a BUNCH of underaged drinking!! It is kind of ridiculous @__@
by keri : Mar 12,2009
Well, Kagrra makes, as they say °»Neo Japanesque°… music. They take traditional Japanese instruments like the koto and make modern rock music. You should check them out!! I highly recommend the songs °»Utakata°…, °»Irodori no sanka°… and °»Shigatsu Tsuitachi°….. Actually, I don°«t have a favorite member >_<°ń To tell you the truth, I°«m not °»obsessed°… with Kagrra, but the GazettE and Nightmare.. is a different story!! But, I think Kagrra°«s bassist, Nao is amazing!! (I°«ve realized Japanese music values bass A LOT more than in American music°ń and it makes me happy ^_^) Oh Yeah!! The GazettE announced their new album °»DIM°… on their OHP, and I cannot wait to preorder it from you guys!! ^w^ so excited!!
by keri : Mar 12,2009
I want those kit kats!! so cute!!

^Jen, "Bath and Body Works"? lol, that's where I got my stuff too! The "Bursting" kind is my favorite!

Oh, Manababy, I see you have San-X products now.. Thank you!!!! Thank you!! I love San-X so much, but I can't find it on a site that ships overseas! Again, Thank you!! ^w^

-I'm sorry for posting so much >__<
by keri : Mar 12,2009
^ keri, yup. From Bath and Body Works!!
by Jen : Mar 13,2009
Yeah, but the daifuku I buy here are small too. They're imported from Japan and come prepackaged in a red box of 21. Don't remember the brand though, but they sell it at some supermarkets that carry Japanese food and it's smaller than a ping pong ball too. But your mochimochi looks good too.
by wohjai : Mar 13,2009
No, Keri. Thank you for posting a lot. I'm so happy that there are actually people who write me back. We have bath & body works in Japan too! But do you know "Lush" from England? Recently "Lush" is all over Japan now and it's really taking over the bath and body cream -related business.
And I like San-X products too! I made a category for San-X products so check them out from the following link.

San-X Cuddly Snuggly Character Series
http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/goods/series_list.html?scode=2202

Wohjai, that's weird that daifuku at your place are smaller than ping pong balls. Usually daifukus are little bigger than eggs.
by Manababy : Mar 13,2009
There's a Bath and Body Works in Japan? I thought the franchise is in America, like Victoria's Secret (I think?).

I have never heard of Lush before. Maybe it's a European or Japanese exclusive scent.
by Jen : Mar 13,2009
Whoops. I thought Lush was an exclusive scent in Japan for BB&W, not an actual company. My apologies.
by Jen : Mar 13,2009
I buy the Yukimi Daifuku from Lotte. These are the ones I buy, the first image with 21 pieces. Yeah, they are quite small...I think more of a snack than traditional daifuku.

http://fiveprime.org/hivemind/Tags/daifuku,lotte
by wohjai : Mar 13,2009
Jen>No, bath & body works is big in Japan! But I think now their biggest rival in Japan is LUSH! I love the display of LUSH. Unlike normal stores, they stack their products like a food market. I just got one of their bath bombs for a valentine's day gift, and it's so cute. It's a ball you put in the bathtub and it pops out little hearts when it melts.
by Manababy : Mar 14,2009
wohjai>OK, now I see what you meant. Yes, yukumi daifuku is small and it is very different from normal daifuku. The skin is much more thicker for normal daifuku. But I love yukumi daifuku too! I always wait for them to melt into the perfect softness! I didn't know we export them!
by Manababy : Mar 14,2009