New Year’s Day according to the old Japanese lunar calendar was around February 19th (it varied year to year); so Kisaragi was equivalent to March--time for “ume”, or Japanese apricot blossoms--which ushered in the advent of spring.
It is said in the old days that, people appreciated ume blossoms rather than cherry blossoms. Incidentally, Taiwan’s national flower happens to be the ume blossom. Every year, I make it a rule to visit my favorite places where I can take photographs of those blossoms. The following are from my album.
On February 7, 2009, I went to “Soga Bairin” in Odawara, it’s famous for more than 35,000 ume trees spread over farm lands. There, ume fruits are produced for making pickles, jam or fruit liquors, among other things.
The two photographs above were taken at “Jyoukeiji”, a Buddhist temple, near “Kakio” station on the Odakyu line on February 8, 2009. Jyoukeiji is also known for beautiful hydrangeas in June.
Also on February 8, 2009, I went to “Jike” in Aoba-ku, Yokohama and took these photos.
At “Yakusiike” in Machida on February 15, 2009. Standing in the left photo are my wife and daughter.