Spring time in Japan means cherry blossoms. But before the cheery trees turn pink the plum trees come in to flower and last month we went off to Tsukigase, north east of Nara, to the plum festival. It was one of the first fine days of spring and the area was crowded with people out to see the plum blossoms.
Stalls in the along the path were selling locally produced pickles and, since this was a plum festival, umeboshi - the salty picked plums. There was even plum flavoured ice-cream.