This year, the ume blossoms (Japanese apricot) trended to be late blossoming for the colder temperature of the winter. I visited to Mito city in Ibaraki prefecture in order to see ume blossoms at the famous Kairakuen garden on 17 March (it took about one hour by the JR limited express from Ueno). Kairakuen is one of the three great Japanese gardens; Kenrokuen at Kanazawa and Korakuen at Okayama. This was built by the order of the Mito lord Nariakira Tokugawa in 1841. Its total area is 13ha, and there are 3,000 ume blossom trees.