Valentine’s Day in Japan is a day where girls give chocolate and other baked confectionaries to their significant other or the guy they’re crushing on. But what do girls get out of it, you might ask? A month later, on March 14th, is when guys are supposed to offer up something in return. That usually means some sweets they’ve bought from a department store or a hot date.
Personally I prefer the American style way of celebrating Valentine’s Day, but because Mr. J and I didn’t have any time to spend the day of, we both had the weekend after White Day off, and so Mr. J promised to take me out somewhere then.
It’s that time of year where winter’s chill is carried away by large gusts of spring breeze, leaving the cherry trees free to blossom in its wake. As the season usually coincides with school and company entrance celebrations, you’ll find many Japanese camping out under the cherry blossoms with beer and picnic lunches in tow. This custom, called hanami, literally means flower viewing but nowadays you’ll find the blossoms serve more as a nice backdrop for boozing and chatting than the actual focal point of the outing they once were traditionally.
Because I took a trip to Singapore right as the blossom petals were first opening, and then went to the Kanamara Matsuri (NSFW) the following weekend instead of joining in on any parties when the cherry trees were blooming at their fullest, I’m sorry to say I don’t have a lot to report about this year’s hanami. Still, I was fortunate to spend a small amount of time surrounded by their beauty and snap a few pictures . And hey, who doesn’t love seeing cherry blossom photos?