The change of seasons in Tokyo – and maybe big parts of the rest of Japan – is marked by a very clearly distinguished sequence of natural events and the advent of certain messengers. In winter, Japanese plum trees (ume, 梅) start to bloom beautifully. After that, the popular cherry blossoms (sakura, 桜) send tremors of euphoria through the country and announce the advent of spring. The cherry blossoms fall, and the crows appear. Huge crows. Smart crows. And aggressive crows. I get attacked at least once a year – and I’m not the only one, judging from the warning signs that appear during that season. The crows calm down a bit, and the rainy season starts. One month of rain.