Cherry blossom season is in full swing in Japan. The cherry tree has a very strong significance here; amongst many things it is associated with the advent of Spring, the start of the school year, and new beginnings in general. Weather forecasts post daily reports of the blooming of the the trees, and travel agencies stake their reputations on their ability to plan the best and most timely bus tours of the most popular sites. Like most people I get my share of invitations to picnic under the flowers. Japanese people go to great lengths to visit the best viewing spots in Japan, and I have to admit that I make a point of going somewhere to see the flowers every year, usually to a different place each time. One particular year I took Sonbeam to the most famous sightseeing spot, Yoshino in Nara, on a bus tour. It took three hours to get there, and three hours to get back. We spent about 90 minutes in Yoshino itself, most of it looking for a place to spread our picnic blanket and eat our packed lunch. Everyone I know has had the same experience. Such is life in Japan.