Before anyone gets the wrong idea, it's not quite hanami (cherry blossom viewing) season just yet. A few people had messaged me asking what the season looks like, and whether it resembles anything close to the display in Washington DC; I believe I'll stretch out the explanation over a few days, and invite viewers to add your own say in the Comments!
So while the season it's in bloom quite yet, I had wanted to share a photo I'd taken in Nara several years ago: a serene start to the sakura fever.
In Japan, the flower season tends to come in a few different phases: first, peach (momo, 桃) and plum (ume, 梅) blossoms appear around the beginning of March, along with the early-blooming cherry blossoms. At times it can be quite difficult to distinguish between the blossoms, actually; I tend to follow my nose: whereas sakura has a light floral breeze (reminiscent of a Cherry Coke being opened a table away), ume tends to have a rather intoxicating tingle--of the sort that men would fight over. (Definitely the sort of scent that willfully overpowers the senses.)
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