The habotan is a type of cabbage plant that is often seen in New Years decorations and in planters lining streets in Japan. Although you can see them almost year round, they are at their strongest during December to March.
I found this cluster of habotan next to a building in the Motomachi (Kobe City) area. It's hard to see since the white hues came out pretty bright, but the plant was rather huge, the flowery part at least 20cm tall!
Right now it is the beginning of cherry blossom season - the famous sakura flowers that will decorate river sides and parks across Japan will be filled with happy "picnickers". They'll be out there with their plastic blue sheets layed out on the ground, racing to get the perfect spot to take in all the beauty (only to be blurred by all the food and alcohol.) I can't deny the Japanese of their true love for the cherry blossoms, but it is also an excuse to get drunk outside;-)
Right now in Hyogo and Osaka Prefectures, the cherry trees have little green buds sprouting out... Can you see them?
Once these buds have bloomed the battle among the cherry trees will begin! (Trees don't battle, the people do.) Every year, new recruits are ordered to leave the office early (sometimes they don't even go to work, they go straight to the park) so that they can "reserve" areas for the night's party under the trees.
After the sakura, it will be the rainy season in Japan. The rains will bring colorful hydrangeas.
This is not "my" hydrangea plant, but it is right by the street I walk by everyday.
It has been blooming very nicely every year for the past 3 years.
Oh, and here are the tulips.
They have grown quite a bit these past few days since it has been pretty warm!
Flowers here, flowers there, I see flowers everywhere!