Ume

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Ume │ NEX-7 & SEL24F18Z │ 24mm, ISO 100, f/1.8, 1/100, RAW

梅,pronounced "oo-may", means is the Japanese apricot, though it is often mis-translated as plum. Bitter to the taste, it's not like a sweet apricot. It's usually pickled, or used to flavour alcohol (more on that to follow in a future post).

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There are no fruit yet, however. The blossoms have only just started, but the matsuri (festivals) are in full swing. Crowds gather, cameras pointed in all directions.

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I even saw one chap taking a photo with an iPad today. An iPad. Fantastic! I suppose his phone wasn't big enough? Each to their own.

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Nestled in between the skyscrapers and train lines, the odd temple or two soldier on. It's rather remarkable, really, considering the price of Tokyo real-estate. I, for one, am glad these temples exist here in Tokyo.

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And judging by the number of "wishes" left outside of the temple, I am not alone with this thought.

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We managed to walk for about 30 minutes before finding this temple, though we had planned a much longer afternoon of walking. The temperature was barely above freezing, with the 25kph Northerly wind carving its way between the buildings. We chickened out, faces numb, and warmed ourselves with hot sake and plum wine.

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