Weeping ume blossoms

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     Where has the spring gone? It’s been cold these days! In fact, we had even snow this Monday and Tuesday. It’s unusual that it snows in March here in Nagoya, Japan. Although it was snowing, I went to see weeping “ume” Japanese apricot blossoms to Nagoya Agricultural Center with two of my friends on Monday.

     There are about 700 weeping Japanese apricot trees in the center. They were almost in full bloom. Pink and white blossoms were really beautiful and sent forth elegant fragrance. Because it was Monday (the center is usually closed on Mondays. They open on Monday only during the event of the weeping Japanese apricot blossoms.) and the weather was terrible, it was not crowded when we visited there.

     A group was playing the ocarina on the out-door stage there. The friends and I were able to enjoyed seeing and smelling the blossoms hearing the ocarina in the snow. The snow and the wind were getting harder and harder while seeing the blossoms. We couldn’t keep walking outside and took refuge into the main building. As many visitors become refugees at the same time, the building was packed at once.

     In the building, many things were sold as ”souvenirs” for example, “umemanju (Japanese sweet), "ume" senbei (Japanese rice crisps), "ume" jam and so on. Many people were buying something frantically because they didn’t have anything else  to do inside and most of them seemed to believe that they had to buy something when they went out somewhere. It looked like a kind of battlefield.

     When it stopped snowing, the friends and I went out to see animals. They have some cows, pigs, goats, sheep and many chickens in the center. You can also buy ice cream made with milk of the cows there. We didn’t get ice cream that day. It was too cold to eat ice cream!

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