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Osaka: Plum Blossom Exhibit Tenmangu Shrine

More plum blossom viewing this time in Osaka.

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Starbucks Japan: Caramelly Sakura Chocolate drinks

So spring is coming, soon I hope! The stores are just starting to change their goods into sakura packaging, I saw sakura chocolate biscuits in the store, sakura beer packaging and sakura fragrance!

From February 15th Starbucks started their sakura series – this year its Caramelly SAKURA Chocolate latte or frappucchino.

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Osaka: Plum Blossom 2014

Everyone loves cherry blossom (sakura), but what about plum blossom (ume)?! I love seeing plum blossom as its a sure sign of spring beginning and better weather ahead!

In Osaka you can see lots of plum blossom in Osaka Castle Park. We visited a few weeks ago (11th Feb) and a few early blooming species had started to blossom.

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Japan: Setsubun

Happy Spring! :) It was setsubun yesterday so today is officially the start of spring. It doesn’t feel like it so much though some small flakes of snow were falling in Osaka early this morning.

Yesterday we did some traditional end of winter/setsubun/bean throwing day activities.

We bought some makizushi – this tradition of eating a sushi roll on setsubun apparently started in Osaka. You should eat it facing a certain direction (depending on the year) in silence! Ours contained unagi (eel) so was really sweet.

Then we threw beans at Brown dressed as an oni (a demon), saying

Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!

– demons out, good luck in!

Finally we ate our age + 1 in soybeans!

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Rilakkuma: Rilakkuma x Milkfed x SPRiNG Magazine

With all the new releases new over the last 24 hours or so I could almost have missed this.

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A free cosmetics pouch and heart mirror with SPRiNG magazine and Milkfed.

It was released yesterday but I only saw the news on the blog yesterday evening. Before work I headed to my local bookstore to get it!

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Normally the free gifts with magazines and Mooks aren’t that great, but I was impressed with the quality of these items especially as the magazine was only ¥630!

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Decent size heart mirror.

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Decent size make up bag.

I’ll definitely be using these items! The magazine isn’t bad either, I usually just buy Kera or Larmine but this had some interesting casual items, plus 6 whole pages on winter shoes.

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Just noticed the page with the next Rilakkuma series – Pie and Cake!

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Spring!

It’s finally starting to feel like spring, I’m currently sat on my balcony enjoying the sun with an ice cream and chilled glass of rose!

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And here I am a few days ago soaking up the sun. It wasn’t just a flukey sunny day! (Although it was raining yday).

Later I’m going to Osaka Castle to check out what should be the height of plum blossom season. I went at the beginning just as the early plum blossoms were blooming so looking forward to seeing even more beautiful flowers!

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Spring Sakura Starbucks

Walking past Starbucks yesterday I saw a big sign for Sakura White Chocolate drinks and everyone was drinking out of sakura paper cups!

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Waaa so cute! I was still super full from the pancakes so went back today with J instead.

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Sakura white chocolate frappuccino, very sweet, strong cherry fruit taste, 8/10.

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Sakura white chocolate, tastes like warm sweet milk, 7/10.

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Sakura cake, light sponge, delicately flavored, tasty, 9/10.

The cake is definitely my favorite.