After cold and sometimes rainy days, last weekend brought beautiful weather: calm winds, clear skies and a high of 25°C (77 F). Perfect for viewing the ume (Japanese plum) blossoms on the thousands of trees in Mito City's Kairakuen (Japan's first public gardens, built by the 9th Lord of Mito, Nariaki Tokugawa, in 1841). Everyone else in the region evidently thought so too, as it was the most crowded that we'd ever seen it.
So, while things are warming up, we'll still have to wait until we get the right mix of temperature, wind and absence of rain before venturing back on the lake. Hopefully it will be soon.
And speaking of "windy", I am reminded of the great song by The Association in 1967. Here is Astrud Gilberto's rendition (1968), which has a wonderful trombone part. I don't know who played it, but I do know that Astrud had some greats working with her back in those days, such as Urbie Green and Bob Brookmeyer. Enjoy...
You can read all about this year's Ume Matsuri on my Pacific Islander blog.