Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I Am In The Pink

Tsukigase Bairin (月ケ瀬梅林、Japanese apricot or Ume forest) in Nara is now in full bloom.

Nabari River ( around here it’s called Satsuki  River) formed V-shaped valley. With the construction of the dam, mountain streams were buried underwater, still the river and Ume trees  sloping down to it  make a scenic view!

This Bairin has a long history and was designated as one of the Scenic Beauty Spots in 1922.

In the time of prime in Edo Period (1603-1867), there were supposed to be 100,000 ume trees there for producing smoked ume called Ubai (鳥梅), which were used as dyes.


However, with the synthetic dyes becoming available, demand of ubai dropped sharply. The village shifted its production from ubai to edible ume. Currently only one house has held that tradition.

                      ume trees lining along the river

The fountain in the river shoots high at a certain time. I hear it is illuminated at night during ume festival.

I have visited it several times before but I have never been lucky enough to see such a full bloom like this. When I opened the door of our car, the air filled with sweet scent of blossoms came into it.

I knew about plum pox virus from Rurousha’s blog; it has spread to 10 prefectures nationwide with some famous ume blossom spots and the only way to manage the disease is to destroy all infected trees. I am worried about the spots here but so far no virus has been reported.


Sho seemed to be curious and enjoying the touch of the field  for the first time.

It is expected to be warmer this week. The cherry-blossom front is starting to go up from southern part of this country. I am "in the pink" for the time being.
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