Every Spring, Starbucks Japan rolls out their SAKURA line of beautiful cherry blossom-themed merchandise, which usually includes tumblers, mugs, a specially-designed Starbucks card and sakura-flavored beverages.
The series is supposedly so popular that every year, South Koreans come to Japan in droves to purchase the goods and some even take large quantities back home for resale.
SAKURA 2012 launched this year on February 29 and 2 weeks into the promotion, the illicit Korean Starbucks trade is in full bloom. The most popular item? The SAKURA 2012 Tumbler: a transparent tumbler that, when filled with coffee, allows you to experience the beauty of yozakura, or cherry blossoms at night.
Cherry blossom viewing is one of the most popular Spring events in Japan. Crowds of people gather at parks or other public areas and sit under cherry blossom trees at full bloom to eat, drink and celebrate the beauty of one of Japan’s most well-known symbols.
While cherry blossom trees are plenty beautiful during the day, visiting them again at night to see yozakura brings its own, often romantic, charm.
When we heard that the Koreans were buying up these yozakura tumblers by the dozens, we felt compelled to purchase one for ourselves and see if they really do change colors.
There are 2 different models available and we purchased one of each: a pink 240ml tumbler for 1500 yen (US $18) and a blue 350ml tumbler for 1600 yen (US $19).
As you can see for yourself in the videos and images posted below, the empty tumblers are designed with colorful pink and white cherry blossoms against a light background to appear as sakura viewed during the day. However, pouring in brewed coffee changes day to night and yozakura appear before your very eyes!
▼ The pink tumbler
▼ The blue tumbler
It’s a neat, albeit simple, gimmick, though we must admit the white cherry blossoms of the pink tumbler appear much more vivid than those of the blue tumbler.
As a bonus, each tumbler comes with a ticket for a free drink of your choice. However the tickets can only be used in Japan, which makes us wonder what the Koreans did with all of them after taking the tumblers home…
Be sure to check the Starbucks Japan website for more information on the promotion!
Source & Photographs：Starbucks SAKURA2012
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