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It all begins in April

In Japan, April is really the beginning of the year. Most importantly, it is the beginning of the new school year and also when work starts for new graduates. Cherry blossoms are in bloom in many locales and there is a feeling of both renewal and poignancy.

Or at least that is what it is supposed to be about. It’s also a season of nerves over new beginnings and even disappointment when cherry blossoms are too early, too late—or are blown from the trees by a violent storm and trod upon as everyone runs for cover.

Traditionally, you should eat some sakura mochi, which is unexpectedly salty. Yes, salty.

Less traditionally, you could walk into a conbini such as 7-11 or Fujimart and choose from a wide array of chocolate or other products celebrating the cherry blossom. I advise that you skip this, but I’m just a grouchy granny stuck in post-war Showa, which I think was a glorious time in Japan.

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