Sometimes, spring seems to sneak up on you. Or at least some aspects of spring. In Japan, the plum trees start blooming. It gives me a sense that spring is coming eventually. Japanese plums (ume) are actually different than North American plums. They’re not quite the same species, or even the same genus. The blossoms are a bright pink, and last through February. Cherry blossoms come mostly in March, but some varieties come in February or even May. I took these pictures on Sunday in Engyo koen (park) in Shonandai.