Originally introduced from China, the plum or ume is associated with the start of spring, because plum blossoms are some of the first blossoms to open during the year. This year the plum blossoms started 2 weeks earlier than last years’.
This is regarded as a great event that is celebrated with plum festivals (ume matsuri) in public parks, shrines and temples across the country and many of the matsuris / festivals are just beginning this week or next. Below is a slide show of plum blossoms found in Japanese residences and home gardens.
It’s hard to find a single house in Japan without a plum blossom and hard to explain the craze over the plum blossoms. Here’s some photos of a Japanese home that has plum blossoms inside and out. I took them during the satoyama stroll during the weekend.
Inside the private garden, is a magnificent plum tree in full bloom.
— Feb 18, 2007