February in Japan is not fun. Cold and gray, its only festival involves demons, dry beans and smelly sardines. There would pretty much be nothing to look forward to, if it weren’t for the…
And although their blooming doesn’t promise no more snow, plum trees bloom while every other flower and leaf is no more than a tightly clenched bud, reminding us that winter may still be here, but spring is coming.
And up close, I actually think the flowers are far more beautiful than cherry blossoms, in both their single and double varieties
Plum trees bloom less profusely than cherries, but some varieties still put out enough flowers to block the sun
Because of their dark, angular branches, plum trees in bloom give a more austere impression than cherry trees, so they’re prized in a different way by painters and poets
One of the biggest bonuses of plum hunting is that so many of them are at excellent shrines
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Jonelle Patrick writes mystery novels set in Tokyo, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had