"Sapporo Hiraoka Park" – Plum Blossom Festival

 

In Japan, cherry and plum blossoms are almost synonymous with spring.   This year’s blossoms have come a bit late, but finally the plum grove in Hiraoka Park bloomed! 

 

 

With the coming of this year’s annual Plum Blossom Festival, the soft, sweet fragrance of roughly 1200 white and red plum blossoms spread across the region.   The interesting selection of food you’ll find is also what makes this festival so special.  The first thing that caught my eye was the Plum Soba (buckwheat noodles)!

 

 

I couldn’t get enough!  The soft noodles were pink and flavored with fresh plum.  They were so delicious! 

 

Next was Plum-flavored soft cream!

 

 

The line was so long!  During the duration of the festival, several thousand cones were sold each day.  The flavor of plum was so refreshing and delicious, it’s easy to see why!

 

 

It didn’t end there.  There were even plum souvenirs! 

 

 

30 different kinds of plum-themed goods were offered.  If you thought the Plum Soba sounded good, you can just imagine how nice Plum Somen (very thin Japanese noodles) and Plum Pasta must be.  The real crowd-pleasers, however, were Plum Senbei (rice crackers) and Plum Manju (steamed buns). 

  

 

Getting back to the flowers though, I have to say this flower season seemed too short.  The blossoms came late this year so the festival was extended to June 2.  Plum blossoms tend to come in a wave that progresses slower and generally arrives later than that of the cherry blossoms.  After arriving in Hokkaido however, the plum blossoms have caught up and overtaken the cherry blossoms this year.   

 

It may have been a later and shorter than a normal season, but this year’s blossoms allowed us to enjoy a little bit of both the cherry and plum blossoms at the same time, making spring in Hokkaido a very beautiful season.   If you weren’t able to catch it this year, you’ll know exactly what to look for next year!

 

Hiraoka Park Homepage / http://www.sapporo-park.or.jp/hiraoka/

 

( Research, Photography, Composition by Hokkaido Likers Photo Writer – Yixtape ) http://www.facebook.com/yixtape02