We awoke this morning to a light dusting of snow. It was slushy, messy and not as pretty as the snow last week. I snapped a few pictures to document the occasion. Two snows in one Japan winter!

This next picture is of my two Sakura trees. Both are starting to show their buds. I’m hoping the cold temps will slow down their blooms a little bit. It’s too early!

Speaking of Sakura, the talk has already started about the Sakura bloom forecast. I have seen several forecasts. The forecasts are split between the peak bloom being the week of 3/24 and 4/1. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the week of 4/1 so our friends who will be visiting can enjoy them as well.

Besides talking about the peak bloom, Sakura items are starting to appear. At my English class today, one of my students brought us special Sakura mochi.

The mochi pancake was filled with red bean paste and wrapped in a pickled Sakura leaf.

It was surprisingly delicious! Mochi and red bean paste are not usually my favorite. I’m beginning to enjoy them more, but I never buy them for myself. This little treat was really good. The salty flavor of the pickled Sakura leaf balanced nicely with the sweetness of mochi and red bean paste. It also helped that I washed it all down with an Asahi beer in a decorative Sakura can! The beer was cold, refreshing and had no taste of Sakura.

Wishing you a very happy Friday and for my friends in cold weather, I hope Punxsutawney Phil doesn’t see his shadow! Happy Groundhog Day! Kanpie!