Today is Shunbun-no-hi, the vernal equinox, and a national holiday in Japan.

Traditionally, people would visit the graves of their ancestors and do some spring cleaning around their homes, but I am not sure if this is still a thing. Also, this day was meant as the official beginning of winter, since from now on the days will be longer than the nights again.

The moon at Ishiyama by Hiroshige, 1834.

I am definitely looking forward to spring, even though the winter this year was quite mild. For now, it is too cool still for hanami, and I have not seen any cherry blossom buds except in very sheltered spots. But, this year’s cherry blossom forecast states that they will start blooming in Kyoto some time early next week. I shall report.