Bar none, "Yuki no Hana" is a wonderful ballad. Released in October 2003, it's hard to believe that it's close to a decade since this song came out. The arrangement just seemed to perfectly fit it being sung while surrounded by a forest of freshly fallen snow. In fact, for the actual music video, Nakashima had asked that it be filmed in a studio under zero degrees Celsius. Talk about suffering for one's art. And it's almost a pity that the song became a commercial tune for mere chocolates.
Written by Satomi and composed by Ryoiki Matsumoto（松本良喜）, "Yuki no Hana"peaked at No. 3 and was ranked at No. 53 in the yearly Oricon charts. The song won the Gold Prize and the Songwriter's Prize at the Japan Record Awards, and Nakashima not only got to perform it at that year's Kohaku Utagassen but would return for an encore a couple of years later. Nakashima's performance of the song was a good part behind its popularity. I followed her early songs from her debut of "Stars" in 2001, and although her voice tended to get overwhelmed at certain points in certain songs, I think she hit "Yuki no Hana"out of the ballpark here. That delicateness of her voice matched the fragile surroundings of snowflakes and icicles. And since the initial release in Japan, it's been covered by singers in her own country and in other countries such as South Korea, The Phillipines and America. Finally, I gotta say that I haven't come across so many karaoke YouTube videos of a single song until I found "Yuki no Hana".