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  3. Cherry Blossoms Coming Soon

Cherry Blossoms Coming Soon

As everyone knows, the Japanese love cherry blossoms, aka "Sakura." Not only are they a beautiful seasonal marker, they figure prominently in society and art, deeply symbolizing the ephemeral quality of life and beauty.

However, as with everything Mother Nature, it is difficult to predict exactly when the blossoms will bloom in your town, so that you can properly arrange for your Sakura viewing party.

The Japan Meteorological Agency (national weather service) pours enormous resources into this, with predictions and maps flooding the media, in order to help the citizenry enjoy the blossoms.

Another thing the Japanese have done is note what trees consistently bloom BEFORE the cherry blossoms, and plant some of those here and there to aid in knowing when the great day will happen. About a week before the pink blossoms pop out, you'll see purple plum blossoms, and know it's getting close. Before the plums, and one of the first trees to bloom (at least in Hokkaido), are the Magnolia trees, with beautiful white flowers.

So, a few days ago, the Magnolia trees began to bloom. A little cloudy for a great picture, but sometimes you don't get to choose.
I'll keep you posted on the plum blossoms, and then finally the Sakura in Furano of the last places to bloom in Japan.

See you in Furano.