By Barrett Ishida

 

Take off your down jackets and coats, it's time to open a can of your favorite beer and sit under some sakura (or cherry blossoms, in English) because spring has arrived in Japan. All four seasons are very distinct in the country and people don't hold back in celebrating each of them.

Spring is a time when family and friends picnic under these fluffy trees full of pinkish white flowers, take pictures and appreciate their fleeting beauty. More than just a simple, fun activity, it has cultural significance. Spring represents a fresh new start for Japanese, so much so that even the fiscal and school years begin in April. The cherry blossoms are welcoming and seen as cheering everyone on for their new beginning.

Many food and beverage companies release seasonal items to match the mood. Here's what some of your favorites are doing overseas in Japan this spring:

 

McDonald's

Sakuranbo (cherry) McShake

Sakuranorishio (cherry, seaweed, salt) seasoning for fries

 

Starbucks

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Sakura (cherry) caramelly chocolate Frappuccino

Sakura (cherry) chiffon cake

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Sakura (cherry) latte w/ strawberry, which can be purchased at convenience stores

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Sakura designs for tumblers, cups and gift cards

 

Kit Kat (Nestle)

Apple Pie flavor for Easter

 

Funyuns (Frito Lay)

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Onion & sakura (cherry) shrimp flavor

 

Baskin Robbins

Easter egg cup sundaes

Seasonal flavors for spring (changes every few months)

 

Krispy Kreme

Sakura (cherry) ring doughnut

 

Seattle's Best Coffee

Strawberry white mocha


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