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SPRING IN JAPAN

     This is a great time of year to visit Japan as the weather is perfect - WARM, but not nearly as hot as summer and everybody is in a partly frame of mind.
     "Hanami" season in March and April is, for many Japanese, the best time of the year. This is when the cherry blossom trees all over Japan come in to bloom for between seven and ten days and people hold outdoor parties to view them. The name says it all -hana means "flower" and mi is to "look".
     Spring is very busy period - accounts have to be finalized, reports finished and karoshi (death by overwork) is said to peak in March.
     Deadlines, school graduation ceremonies, government transfers and then, in April, come the Cherry Blossoms like a breath of fresh air.  This marks the nation's change of focus from hard working to hard playing.  Impressive quantities of 'sake' are drunk, food is barbequed and songs are sung.
     A hub of useful information about spring break, including this year's hot spots, what to do, where to stay, how to get there -- like spring break deals -- and the rest of the dope.  info on volunteering this spring, too. Enjoy!

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