Animal Crossing: New Horizons' Cherry Blossom Season Is Too Fleeting, Just Like In Real Life

Animal Crossing: New Horizons' Cherry Blossom Season Is Too Fleeting, Just Like In Real Life

My kingdom for a sakura lantern recipe.

Cherry blossom trees are at once so beautiful, and also so horrible for allergies. At least, they are for mine. Over the past couple weeks, I've gotten to enjoy the short seasonal trees within the world of Animal Crossing: New Horizons (and without sneezing), and it's been absolutely lovely. Especially living in a world where it's not like we can go outside right now.

Staying indoors and playing Nintendo's latest life simulator, players have become big whiners, myself included. We whine about recipes we want; we whine about our tools breaking after 30 uses. We whine about villagers that we don't want to live alongside us anymore. Most of all, we've been whining about Animal Crossing: New Horizons' debut seasonal event: Bunny Day, a day where we craft Easter egg-related items and collect multicolored eggs from the sky, from the water, and even from the Earth itself. While we've all been complaining about Bunny Day, we've been ignoring the real crime in Animal Crossing: New Horizons' latest season. That is, the cruel rarity of limited-time cherry blossom recipes. And it all ends tomorrow.

From April 1 to April 10, cherry blossom trees are in full bloom. Just like in real life, they bloom for two weeks, and then all the pink petals fall away until next year. In New Horizons, it affects all our once-money trees with dark wood stumps; for a limited time, they've bloomed into adorable pink petaled beauts. In the past couple days, my island's been even more sprinkled with cherry blossom petals, as they rain from the sky and float down the rivers. It's very pretty; prettier than past games' cherry blossom seasons.

Naturally, I crafted way too many petal piles for my island. | Caty McCarthy/USG, Nintendo

Naturally, I've caught dozens of cherry blossom petals with my net with one hope in mind: to craft cute cherry blossom-themed things with them. But there's been a big problem—a problem I'm not alone in having either—the recipes are extremely rare.

You get one recipe from Isabelle, a charming picnic set, but for the rest, we're on our own. We shoot down balloons—praying they're not the Bunny Egg multicolored ones. We run along shores, fingers crossed there's a washed bottle ashore with a recipe. We barge into our neighbors' houses unannounced, hoping to catch them in the act of crafting just so we can get a new recipe. It's never even guaranteed to be a cherry blossom recipe. Just last night, I caught my bird friend Jacques crafting something, and he gave me a "bamboo hat" that's crafted using... weeds, weirdly.

It's the opposite approach to Bunny Day, where I've already found multiple repeat recipes, crafted everything the event offers at least once, and am just waiting for Sunday to come so I never have to see another pastel egg ever again. New Horizons may have gotten a patch to address the proliferation of eggs, but in my own experience, the patch doesn't seem to have done much to assuage the egg problem. Meanwhile, cherry blossom recipes are exceptionally hard to come by, to the chagrin of the Animal Crossing community, because unlike Bunny Day, the cherry blossom items are actually cute.

I'm at 185+ hours in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, playing for at least a few hours each day. During that time, I've accrued lots and lots of Bunny Day eggs, loads of repeat recipes (that I've simply sold because everyone I know already has the recipes), and just four of 14 cherry blossom recipes. When the cherry blossoms go back to being normal boring trees over the weekend, all our cherry blossom recipe potential will disappear.

Still, it's brought all my little Animal Crossing communities together. In the Discords and group texts I'm in, we're sharing what recipes we've each got—my partner has the coveted cherry blossom crossbody bag, while I have the cute wand, for instance. We'll swap supplies, craft items for one another, and presto: we're getting the items we really want. It's nice to feel like we're all helping one another out. Across the likes of Twitter and Reddit, I've seen the same thing happening too: folks trading items or duplicate recipes in exchange for others. The sharing community is already strong in New Horizons, as evidenced with sharing and charting turnip prices, to now banding together to help the less recipe-fortunate players out.

I'll be sad when the cherry blossoms fade away after tomorrow. It's been such a pleasant time on my island. A cardboard tree cutout, which I can customize in a number of ways, hints at the future of trees through the Animal Crossing seasons, like snowfall. The future of our trees is exciting, but I'll miss the pink trees I had for these beautiful two-ish weeks. Now, if only I could find that sakura lantern recipe.

For more on Animal Crossing: New Horizons, we have a helpful full list of all the Bunny Day recipes, so that you can see what you're missing. We also have a guide on how to catch cherry blossom petals, if that's giving you any trouble.

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Caty McCarthy

Senior Editor

Caty McCarthy is a former freelance writer whose work has appeared in Kill Screen, VICE, The AV Club, Kotaku, Polygon, and IGN. When she's not blathering into a podcast mic, reading a book, or playing a billion video games at once, she's probably watching Terrace House or something. She is currently USgamer's Senior Editor.

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