啓蟄 Keichitsu (Insects awaken)
March 6–10 蟄虫啓戸 Sugomori mushito o hiraku Hibernating insects surface
March 11–15 桃始笑 Momo hajimete saku First peach blossoms
March 16–20 菜虫化蝶 Namushi chō to naru Caterpillars become butterflies
Before the Spring Equinox we have this micro season. Insects and animals start to feel the first warmth of spring and slowly start to move around awakening from their winter slumber. It is a time of change and new life emerging. Buds start to swell and shoots start to poke through the thawing soil. Above the blossoms bloom and as the weather starts to warm people in Japan start to spend more time out side enjoying the first spring days.
Seasonal foods you can expect this season in Japan are bamboo shoots, wasabi flowers and leaves, cabbage and broccoli. I am quite excited to be getting some wasabi flowers this week from the wasabi company they sell lots of Japanese ingredients as well as having their own wasabi farm. The link is at the bottom or down the side depending on your device.
In this micro season on March 14th is White Day in Japan. February the 14th is Valentine’s Day and on that day girls give gifts to guys. This can be friends, teachers, work colleagues, as well as that special someone. White day is the day the guys return the gifts. This can be in the form of white flowers or cookies, white chocolate or items in white wrapping. Home made gifts are extra thoughtful it shows people have taken the care and time to source ingredients and prepare and wrap a gift. Why not make my white day Sakura cookies or tofu yuzu donuts the recipes are on this website.
Or make white heart shaped chocolates sprinkled with petals.
I also think wrapping a gift in a beautiful cloth would be extra special. Like the ones sold at Zusetsu, they sell beautiful furoshiki wrapping cloths perfect to finish off that gift for white day or in the U.K. Mother’s Day is coming up soon. Their website is www.zusetsu.com or if your in Japan why not find some beautiful wrapping cloth where you live.