These days are probably among the best of the entire year. We have a succession of mild days with blue skies, and most of all, the cherry trees are in full bloom.
Our morning bike ride to the campus always contains a detour through Kashiwanoha Park, where cherry trees of all shapes and shades are blooming. The trees are a delicate pink or shiny white, puffy blossomed or with hanging branches, and each has its own peculiar character. Lunch breaks have turned into picnics with bento boxes under the cherry trees on campus. And evenings are spent on the banks of the Sumida river, under a dense roof of blossoms strikingly lit from below.
Only now we realize that trees we have been passing for months are actually cherry trees. The delicate blossoms pop up everywhere. It seems that in Japan, no tree is planted if it is not a cherry, peach or plum tree. Its only other reason for being beside striking spring bloom can be its fall foliage, which results in Japanese Maple and Ginko trees being planted, as well.
And the Japanese are all in a good mood. Already the old ladies on their morning walks are smiling, our colleagues at work constantly show at least 40 teeth, and the high spirits culminate in unjapanese displays of joy at sake parties in the evening.
The love for the Sakura bloom is contagious and has already spread to us. I wish it could last forever, but already now, a light breeze can elicit snowy showers, and under some trees, a white carpet is starting to form.