Monday, March 11, 2013

Ume blossoms viewing at Osaka Castle Park

"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter."
                                                      - Rachel Carson -

(Click on the photo to enlarge.)

Ume blossoms season has come!  梅 Ume, or Japanese apricot, is one of the earliest fragrant bloomers to harbinger spring.  They start flowering when air is still cold one by one.  A few of modest but elegant flowers braving the cold symbolize strength, resilience, perseverance, and purity. 

bursting blooms on March 6th
While I was involved in grand parenting since last early December, season has changed.  When the winter chill suddenly turned to early spring warmth last week, my granddaughter returned to her parents on her mother’s leaving hospital.  She's gone with winter!  She will be an elder sister in March or early April.  As for myself, while I’m so relieved and happy for my son's family, I feel listless with a void in my heart.  To such a person, nature has a way, so I went to view Ume blossoms which burst into bloom because of April-like warmth of the last week.

The place is Ume Grove of Osaka Castle Park.  It is an urban oasis.

Walking through the grove in the morning, I was very relaxed. Ume blossoms of about 100 varieties in various colors and greeting chirps of lovely birds would have brought theraputic effects on my body and mind. 

If you plan to go, I highly recommend to start your day early.  At 11:00 a.m. on weekday when I left the park, the ume grove was already bustling with people.


pale pink


deep pink


weeping type


Trunks are as attractive as flowers. 
This gnarled trunk look swimming freely in the air.

Osaka Castle was built during 1583-1597 by order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.  The current main tower is a restoration work completed in 1997 which maintains its Edo-era splendor. The castle is made of concrete different from original wooden structure and elevator is installed so that the interior can work as a modern and functioning museum.

On the way to the nearest station, JR Kansai Loop Line, Osaka-jo Koen

Today is the second anniversary of 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami.  As I read and hear the still ongoing pains and struggles of the victims, my heart aches and I think how unfair the life is. No matter what happens, I think I'll keep remembering the blooms of ume after the harsh winter.     

押絵, or collage painting, of Ume blossoms by the late aunt of my husband

- This post is linked to Our World. -


  1. Your blooms are divine!!! Things are just blooming here as well. I hope you are well and happy:) All my best. Chris

  2. By the looks of the collage painting, your husband’s aunt was an artistic woman who loved the blossoms as much as you do. There is both peace and harshness to be found in nature. It is hard to believe that two years have passed since the earthquake and tsunami. There is so much suffering but also recovery and rebirth. And soon you will have a new grandchild!

  3. Gorgeous photos - as ever. The season's refrain seems to be a little out of kilter here at the moment with winter raising it's grey, unforgiving face again this week. Enjoy the spring and the children.

  4. So very beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Absolutely gorgeous pictures !
    Have a nice week.

  6. You know, Yoko, I think it is symbolic to talk of blooms on this anniversary. My heart ached when I was watching a documentary on safety measures in your country, undertaken after that event. How kindergartens in vulnerable regions are practising evacuation with kids wearing soft yellow helmets to protect their little heads. Thank you for splendid views of the triumph of nature!

  7. ご無沙汰しています。

  8. Imagenes preciosas!
    Excelentes capturas!
    Un abrazo.

  9. Dear Yoko,
    Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous!
    The ones with the "white eye" bird are priceless! I could imagine the little bird playing on the tree, looking for some flowers!
    Im glad spring has begun in Japen! I am sure beautiful pictures will be captured by Yoko's lenses!
    Cheers from Brazil

  10. To musiał być cudowny spacer wśród kwitnąch drzew i nie dziwię sie, że się zrelaksowałaś. Dzisiaj była 2 rocznica trzęsienia ziemi i to na pewno było smutną rocznicą. Ty się jednak ciesz wnuczkami, tą którą masz i tą, którą będziesz miała. Pozdrawiam.
    It must have been a wonderful walk among kwitnąch trees and I am not surprised that it was easy. Today was a 2 anniversary of the earthquake, and it certainly was a sad anniversary. However you enjoy your grandchildren, that you have and the one you'll have. Yours.

  11. Dear Yoko,

    You are such a fantastic photographer. You make these blossoms and trees and temple come alive in my mind. The colors are superb and your pictures draw such nice sharp lines. They are a pleasure to look at. Spring is wonderful as new life rises from the old.

    Thank you for providing the link to the tsunami pictures. They are so sad. It was such a traumatic and tragic event. And while tremendous strides have been made in some areas, there still remains a lot of work to be done - which is not surprising considering the vast amount of damage.

    I feel for you having to give up your granddaughter. Obviously, there is a strong bond between you - but that will last a lifetime as you have the opportunity to see her grow and hopefully model the lessons you taught and exemplified. Love won't be broken by distance.

    Thank you for your very kind comment on Creative Confections. I think you have an appreciation for my poetry that I've not found elsewhere! I'm very appreciative.

    Best wishes, as always, to you and your family! I am pleased and proud to be your friend!

  12. This is so awesome, Yoko!
    I love it so much...
    Warm greetings from Holland,

  13. Dear Yoko, what a wonderful and heartwarming post. I'm really envy you about the fantastic parks you have in Japan. I thinks there no other nation with such a "park culture" like the Japanese one. There must be hundreds, nay tousands of ume trees in this Osaka park.

    You really managed to capture the springtime mood in your photos - I love every single one of them!


  14. OH wow, so beautiful. Are they early this year?

    Our first weekly linky party is on at:

    Please join us if your time permits, the theme is what made you happy this week? :)

    Thank you!

  15. As always, a tender, magical and moving post. Glad to hear the good news about your son's family. And what a lovely way to remember the second anniversary of the earthquake.

    The photos are just fabulous - they lifted my spirits.

  16. It's as if the blossoms arrived specifically to make you cheerful, at just the right moment, and with so much beauty.

    I'm so glad it's getting warmer, although we seem to be in that 三寒四温 period: Thursday will be freezing cold again. Sigh.

    I hope the blossoms will continue to cheer you up, and soon ... sakura. :)

  17. Nature is a wonderful healer and one can see exactly how through your beautiful post. These ume blossoms are beautiful and a perfect way to pay tribute to the earthquake victims and their families. Thanks for sharing the beauty Yoko, all your fabulous pictures are soothing for the mind, body and soul.

  18. Beautiful blooms so well captured!Have a great day!


  19. You were so clever Yoko, to fill the void the lovely little girl left with something equally beautiful and wondrous! And as sure as spring comes after winter and morning after dawn, she will be back too - as a big sister - oh, even so much better! :-)
    As always, your marvelous photos of such splendid nature touched my heart and spirit!

  20. Awesome captures...These are stunning photos!

  21. Lovely post of the seasonal blossoms, Yoko...I especially liked your husband's aunt's collage painting of the Ume blossoms! Although happenings in the world can be harsh and hurtful, there are so many things to be thankful's best to be grateful for them.

  22. Beautiful colours!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  23. 見事に満開の梅園ですね。急に暖かくなっていっせいに花開いたのでしょう。種類も多く見応えあります。めじろの表情がとてもかわいいです。

  24. just glorious! and that painting is a true treasure!

  25. Skulle verkligen vilja se all den blomprakten. lyckliga ni som bor där och får se det varje år.
    Ha en fin vecka
    Kram Meta

  26. Pleace, can you have a translate on your blogg you can find it on can read my komments and I can read your blogg.

    1. I saved “Translate” on the sidebar. It’s strange that the translation gadget is fine only on Chrome. The pull-down to choose language doesn’t appear on Internet Explorer.

  27. Dear Yoko - I like the way you have linked in the passing season with the renewal of the blossom and the arrival of your next grandchild this month or next.
    I am sure that you must miss your little granddaughter, she looked such a sweet child on the photos with a ready little smile.
    Your blossom photos are lovely, ours is not out yet, but it will be soon.

  28. おはようございます。素晴らしいですね。望遠レンズもお使いになるのですね。メジロの写真に見とれました。 

  29. It's sad to think about the tsunami and the struggle to go on with life. Flowers like you posted is a comfort and a promise, that after winter, spring come with beautiful new things like the apricot flower. How beautiful and precious the collage of your husband's late aunt is!

  30. もうほとんど満開ですね。種々の梅が見事です。大阪城の茶室はどうも馴染めませんが、、、。震災に遭った方々の立ち直りをテレビで見ると人間ってこんなに底力があるのだと感嘆します。こころはまだ癒えておられないのに。

  31. Wow! I've never seen so many blossoms in one place before - that must be quite a place to be! Really beautiful!!

  32. The blossoms are very beautiful and the painting and collage is extraordinary.

  33. Hi Yoko, these photos of the ume blossoms are truly stunning. I love how the white-eyed bird toppled over to feed on the nectar. Your husband's aunt did a delightful papermache collage of this very much cherished flower.

  34. tack ska du ha, nu kan ja läsa dina fina skrivningar, och förstå mer var bilderna visar.
    Ha det så gott i veckan.
    Kram Meta

  35. It's not too late to share at WW Bloggers at Hope you'll join us!

  36. Det ska vara som spenat ja, har inte heller testat men nu när mina plantor blir stora skall jag göra det. Så får vi se vad jag tycker.
    Ha en fin torsdag
    Kram Meta

  37. Such beautiful photos! And yes, nature is very healing for those with ana che in their hearts.
    What a delightful bird! I've never seen one like that.
    We anticipate spring, but it has not arrived.
    Cheers from Cottage Country, Ontario, Canada!

  38. Gorgeous serie...
    Best regards from France....


  39. My beloved friend Yoko
    Sorry I'm late to visit you, but I had children and grandaughter a week.
    What wonderful photos of 'Spring!
    Glad everything is going well for your kids!
    Please, Don't be sad.
    Soon cometh and another baby ...
    Indeed our nature makes me happy!
    The table's aunt, is amazing! CONGRATULATIONS!
    I wish the good to the baby arrives, I send you a big hug and kisses and God gives consolation to earthquake victims.

  40. If hardships are those to fortify our spirit, maybe it is the same with nations? What I know is that there's a lesson to learn in everything happens to us and also no lesson come to us unless we're prepared to learn it. Though sometimes it comes with great loss which go beyond our understanding, each new lesson can either push us forward, or pull us behind. No matter the course, evolution or involution, it's always a decision. Judging by the way the Japanese people regrouped and rebuilt after the terrible earthquake followed by the tsunami shows me you took the decision to move forward. And that is a great example for all of us. It's not coincidental that Ume and Sakura blossom are the symbol of your nation, my dear friend Yoko!

    Fu-u leaving back home with her parents must be hard, but I'm sure there'll be plenty of time to spend with her again, enjoying both her and the new baby to come into your family. I look forward reading about it in the near future!

    The collage painting is very beautiful, just as delicate and real as the natural Ume blossom is. Thank you for sharing I enjoyed it very much!

  41. What beautiful blossoms - so delicate. You must be looking forward to welcoming your new grandchild.

  42. Beautiful photos and beautiful write-up. I especially like the photo of the green bird with the white eye. Indeed, nature is resilient, it will always come back... even from the brink.

    I went through the before/after Tsunami photos on The Atlantic - I will like to add that Japanese people are also very resilient.

  43. Maravilloso post con la llegada de la primavera. Te escribo nuevamente por aquí, pues no veo el apartado de comentarios en el que has puesto el nuevo.
    Un abrazo.

  44. Yokoさん こんにちは!

  45.  押絵素晴らしいですね。 感激しました。w(*゚o゚*)w

  46. Well, you closed comments for your Equinox post, so I'll scoot down here and make a couple of comments anyway! :)

    Such beauty that blesses your area in the spring! A bounty of joyful and colorful blossoms. Cherry trees are my favorite, I think, and when in bloom cover the land with love.

    And now I can tell my friends that I know someone who has a cherry tree named after her! That is very cool!

    I find it rather interesting that yesterday we went to lunch with our friend Tsurumi and her husband. She did speak a little big of Japanese...explaining the sounds of certain English letters in Japanese.

    Best wishes to you and I thank you very much for your kind comment on Creative Confections.

    (That sandwich looks yummy. I've never had a pancake sandwich!)

  47. Dear Yoko,
    It is always a pleasure to visit your blog and admire the beautiful pictures. With us is the way some snow! I look forward to the spring.
    Today I have a question for you ...
    Do you know the poem "Desiderata" by Max Ehrmann? It's beautiful. I gather from various countries of the poem, but can not I find a Japanese version. One is known to you?



    1. Thank you, Carola, for the comment. I didn’t know either the author or the poem. I read it on the Net and it reminded me of “If” by Rudyard Kipling. I found the Japanese book which contains the poem and the title was 幸せヘの切なる願い 36の聖なる希望のことば. I’ll visit you soon when I have time as I’m in the middle of something now.


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