Magic cherry tree is like Chia Pet for spring

The Japanese craze for flowering cherries has spawned a desktop tree that blushes pink with a sprinkle of magic water. May attract millions of picnickers.

Tim Hornyak
Crave freelancer Tim Hornyak is the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots." He has been writing about Japanese culture and technology for a decade. E-mail Tim.
Tim Hornyak

In spring, people in Japan love to celebrate the flowering of cherry trees by gathering under the pink-white blossoms, admiring their transient beauty, and getting quite drunk.

Unfortunately, successful hanami (flower viewing) usually requires getting to a local park early and reserving a coveted spot in the mass booze-up. But with the Magic Sakura, you can do it all on your desktop.

With a sprinkling of "magic water" (sodium acetate), the 5-inch sakura, or cherry tree, starts to bud like a bonsai Chia Pet.

In a few hours, you'll have a few petals on the tree, and in 24 hours it will be in full bloom. Voila! All you need is some Asahi Super Dry and you're in hanami mode.

Magic Sakura sells for about $7.50 in Japan from Otogino, whose bizarre catalog includes a product called Magic Snow.

(Via Japan Trends)