I've gotten so used to seeing the place looking barren and grey that it's visually shocking now that spring is here. It seems to have happened overnight actually. One day I woke up and everything was in bloom, beautiful and alive.
This is Hanami Season - Cherry Blossom viewing. Japan is shaped like a croissant and the blossoms start from the bottom of the island and makes it way to the top. (It reminds me of the stadium wave at baseball or basketball game.) And Tokyo is in the fattest, yummiest part of the croissant somewhere at the edge.
The blooms only last but 2 weeks and it is vigorously celebrated. I never got into it when I lived in DC, but the Japanese really get a kick out of it and you can't help but get excited also.
Hundreds line up (including me), at any one time, just for the chance to see the prettiest blossoms in the city. Companies entrust their young hires with the special task of finding and holding the best spots under the trees until the managers can join. People picnic, drink, and lounge for hours.
And of course no celebration would be complete without the vendors. Tons of them selling all sorts of food (traditional or not), cooked fresh right in front of you. It's great to watch. Even if you don't like the taste of everything, it's also great to try.
Ahhh yes, spring...