Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sakura in Dundee

Last week a friend from Japan was visiting my work. We had a great time both in work and at ceilidhs and sessions. But he also brought some sweets from Japan including these Sakura cookies. Whilst I lived there last year I got really fascinated by all the food, especially the sweets so this was a lovely gift.

Sakura, the cherry blossom, is Japan's unofficial national flower. It has been celebrated for many centuries and takes a very prominent position in Japanese culture. When the blossom is blooming, there as special weather forecasts telling you where they are at their best and people go out to admire them at hanami. At Hanami festivals, people go out to celebrate the beauty of sakura, and for many, it is a chance to relax and enjoy the beautiful view. The city planting in Japan is very thought out so they have rows and rows of these trees in scenic spots. This way people can enjoy their free time admiring them, having a picnic there and having a good time.

The cookies were beautifully and thoughtfully packaged as everything in Japan is. Every detail matches perfectly like the stylized flours on the outside package, the two trays of cookies that fit perfectly into the outer container, one labeled with the leaves and one labeled with the flowers of the cherry tree as this is what’s in the cookies to the instructions on how to open a sachet. The cookies tasted lovely, very light and full of flavor with a hint of cherry blossom. I find myself wishing I was back in Japan to see the cherry blossom (as I missed it when I was working there from May-September) but for now, I’ll admire the few sakura trees that are randomly spread around Dundee while enjoying my cookies.

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