Sweet Plums(Ume Matsuri in Mito)

It was bad windy rain for sakura today.
They've just bloomed.
Some sakura tree is in full blossom and another tree is in bud.
I hope wind does not blow cute pink sakura petals.

I didn't to go to see sakura today, since the weather was not good to go to park.
Maybe next weekend.
I think it's not too late to see sakura.

Anyway, many people get busy during spring to catch the best timing to see blossoms.
So, I post some pictures I took in Mito Ume Matsuri in the middle of March.

It was so beautiful.
White, pink and red blossoms.
Light sweet smell.
I could feel spring has really come.

ume trees in Mito Kairakuen
which are known the best garden to see ume.
3,000 trees in the garden.


Early Spring in Tsukuba

Japan is enjoying beautiful spring right now.
Spring always comes with flowers... no doubt the most famous spring flower is Sakura,
but Ume(plum) is also so beautiful.

Ume starts to bloom from February, before Sakura blooms from late in March or early in April.
So, we can enjoy Ume blossoms first and then go to see Japan's symbolic flower "Sakura".

I visited mount Tsukuba again in early March to see Ume during Ume Matsuri(plum festival).
There are many famous Ume watching spot such as Japanese garden and mountain.
In Mt.Tsukuba, white, pink and red pretty Ume flowers are scattered beautifully.

plums in Tsukuba mountain.
it was so beautiful in nature.


Takayama-5 (Last Day in Takayama)

It was the last day in Takayama, so sad to leave this beautiful small town.
The bus was scheduled to leave to Tokyo at 3 pm.
I still have time. So I decided to go to folk village area again.

I walked from teddy bear eco village(museum).
beautiful view of the Northern Japan Alps from yukonooka park.
3,000m class mountains appeared.


Takayama Vending Machine

I found local vending machine at Takayama bus center.

shin hodaka ropeway is
one of the most popular sightseeing spot in takayama.
great view of the northern japan alps is fascinating.

Shin-Hotaka Ropeways by japan-guide.com


Takayama-4 (Shirakawa-go)

"Long, long ago, in a certain place, there were a granddad and grandmom.... "

In Japanese old story, a certain place is always a small village.
A thatched roof, a sunken fire place, laundry in a creek.
People work at a paddy field, man goes to a mountain for firewood gathering,
woman goes to a creek for laundry.

My mom read me a book every night when I was a little girl.
There were also animals in a story, such as monkey, fox, bird, dog, tanuki(Japanese raccoon dog).
Goddess and some kind of sprits or fairies appeared too.
It is amazing for little kids.

Shirakawa-go is a small, traditional village known as a UNESCO world heritage site.
It is so beautiful, spotted "gassyo-zukuri" farmhouses covered by snow remind me such a small village in a story.

from view point, 10minutes by shuttle bus
you can see the same view as postcard.


Lucas has Found Spring

It was Sunday.
Lucas went for a walk again!
Lucas took a train this time. (But he was in my bag).

"Today's destination is Gyoda park in Funabashi."
Lucas said to me.
Gyoda park is a 11.9ha local park near.....
Well, this park is not near the station.
Lucas walked(technically I walked) about 30 minutes from Higashi Kaijin station of Toyo Rapid Railway.
(If Lucas take this train, Lucas can go to Tokyo within an hour.)

He was so tired to walk, but  he found that ume(Japanese apricot) on bloom!

lucas found a blooming ume tree.


Takayama-3 (Hida Furukawa)

It was New Year's Day.

Many stores and restaurants, museums were closed.
People have traditional food at home, some people go back to their hometown to spend a couple days with family.
Some people go to shrines.

I was worried about dinner, I didn't want to miss my first dinner in 2014.... so I made a reservation for dinner at pension where I stayed.
OK, one problem was solved.
But another problem was... where should I go?

I went to the shrine on New Year's Eve.
Museums might not be open for today.
Train? No holidays for train!

I decided to go to Hida Furukawa by local train.

local JR train, takayama honsen.