Plum Blossom from IBARAKI

Plum Blossom (Prunus mume)

Plum blossom tree is a deciduous small tree native to China and a widely known tree in Japan.
Kairakuen was founded in 1842 by Tokugawa Nariaki, the 9th feudal lord of the Mito Domain, and is a famous location for plum blossoms with 3,000 plum blossoms trees of 100 species, which blossom in early spring. The founder is known to have not only ordered his civil servants to grow plums, but also researched horticultural technology himself. Planting many plums in Kairakuen was not only to enjoy viewing the flowers, but also for the purpose of making pickled plums from the fruits to use them as emergency food for the military and famine. The flowers which blossom in early spring and the fruits which give off a particular scent in early summer is a seasonal tradition at Kairakuen.

Text in collaboration with: Ibaraki Prefecture