弥生三月、平成29年 桜 開花予想
・2017.02.27 The Seattle Times
Japanese emperor departs for visit to Vietnam and Thailand
（ Japan’s Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko smile as they leave for Vietnam at the Haneda International Airport in Tokyo, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. ）
・2017.02.28 Malay Mail Online
Japanese emperor kicks off landmark visit to Vietnam
（ Japan’s Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko are greeted by Vietnamese officials as they arrive at Hanoi’s International airport Noi Bai February 28, 2017. ）
・2017.03.01 The News Tribune
Japan emperor to meet abandoned Vietnam families of soldiers
（ Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko attend a wreath laying ceremony at the mausoleum of the late Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh in Hanoi, Vietnam, Wednesday, March 1, 2017. ）
（ Japanese Emperor Akihito, center left, Empress Michiko, left, Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang and his wife Nguyen Thi Hien pose for a group photo at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam Wednesday, March 1, 2017. The emperor and empress are expected to meet with surviving widows and families members of Japanese WWII war veterans. ）
（ 東大寺二月堂で行われた「お水取り」＝1日夜、奈良市、安元雄太撮影 ）
Omizutori Fire Festival, 1st Mar–14th Mar, 2017
Omizutori is an event held every year between the 1st to the 14th of March or the second month of the lunar calendar and is a series of ceremonies of repentance at the Todaiji Temple.
The 1,250-year-old tradition is known to be one of the oldest Buddhist recurring events. It involves lighting large numbers of torches and hanging them from the balcony that runs along all sides of the temple, creating rigorous strips of fire on the sides of the temples.
People attend this ceremony to cleanse themselves of sins, and look forward to spring and a fresh start when all of the cherry blossoms emerge. It is believed that if you are showered with one of the fire sparks from the torches, it is good luck and you will be protected from evil.
・The Japan National Tourism Organization
The Bloom of 2017 Cherry Blossoms
Cherry blossom blooming forecast (date of first bloom) - 2017 Season As of Feb.8
Sakura Cocktail（ 出典はこちら ）
・1½ oz. sake or barley shochu
・1½ oz. sweet vermouth.125 oz. distilled white ale (like Kiuchi no Shizuku)
・3 dashes (or 9 drops) of orange bitters
・Edible flower, optional garnish
Combine the first four ingredients and pour into a coupe glass; garnish with an edible flower.
・2016.04.04 Sharia in Japan
Trying all the sakura food we could get our hands on! Sakura Pepsi, Sakura Liqueur, sakura rice crackers, sakura chocolate, cookies + more~
Hanami ("flower viewing") is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers, flowers are ("hana") in this case almost always referring to those of the cherry ("sakura") or, less frequently, plum ("ume") trees.
From the end of March to early May, sakura bloom all over Japan, and around the first of February on the island of Okinawa.
The blossom forecast (sakura-zensen) "cherry blossom front" is announced each year by the weather bureau, and is watched carefully by those planning hanami as the blossoms only last a week or two.
In modern-day Japan, hanami mostly consists of having an outdoor party beneath the sakura during daytime or at night.
In some contexts the Sino-Japanese term kan'ō (view-cherry) is used instead, particularly for festivals. Hanami at night is called yozakura "night sakura".
In many places such as Ueno Park temporary paper lanterns are hung for the purpose of yozakura.
On the island of Okinawa, decorative electric lanterns are hung in the trees for evening enjoyment, such as on the trees ascending Mt. Yae, near Motobu Town, or at the Nakijin Castle.
A more ancient form of hanami also exists in Japan, which is enjoying the plum blossoms (ume) instead, which is narrowly referred to as umemi (plum-viewing). This kind of hanami is popular among older people, because they are calmer than the sakura parties, which usually involve younger people and can sometimes be very crowded and noisy.
敷島の 大和心を 人問わば 朝日ににおう 山桜花
（ 画像出典はクラカメおじさんの気まぐれ写真から ）