Ume or The Plum Blossom starts to bloom in late winter. It is among the first to bloom in the year and serves as a sign of the beginning of spring. It is not Sakura (The Cherry Blossom) but Ume that is considered to be the flower that starts off the hanami (flower viewing) tradition in Japan.
Appearing when the cold is still extreme, Ume represents vitality. It is also associated with good fortune and thought to ward off evil spirits. Thus, ume trees are often planted around shrines or temples.
Although its popularity has been overshadowed by that of Sakura, Ume still plays a significant role in Japanese culture and lifestyle. Ume viewing festivals are held across Japan in February and March. Ume and the combination of Ume and Uguisu (Japanese bush warbler) are also a common fabric, painting and ceramic design motif.
The Lifestyle Box
1. Mino-yaki Ceramic Plum Blossom Plate (1 item)
This small yet vibrant plate will definitely bring the spirit of spring to your desk or dining table!
2. Mino-yaki Ceramic Plum Blossom Chawan Rice Bowl (1 item)
The word “Chawan” means tea bowl as these bowls were originally used to drink tea. However, nowadays, chawan are used to eat rice. As Japanese rice is sticky, the inside of the bowl is made lumpy so the rice won’t stick to the bowl.
3. Mino-yaki Ceramic Plum Blossom Chopstick Rest (1 item)
The chopstick rest is shaped like a real plum blossom.
4. Plum Blossom Natural Wooden Chopsticks (1 pair)
The upper ends of the chopsticks are decorated with colorful plum blossoms and buds.
5. Lacquered Plum Blossom Small Tray (1 item)
The item is ideal to use as a small tray for tea times.
6. Plum Blossom Tenugui (1 item)
Tenugui are a type of Japanese traditional cloths. Traditionally, tenugui are unhemmed so they can be used for various purposes including but not limited to wiping & cleaning hands & body, wrapping stuff, wearing as headbands or transforming to a household item.
7. Chirimen Plum Blossom Handmade Keychain (1 item)
Chirimen is Japan’s traditional crepe. These handmade keychains add more colors and loveliness to your phone or bag.
8. Sho – Chiku – Bai Pochibukuro Envelope (1 item)
In Japan, pochibukuro envelopes are used for children’s New Year’s monetary gifts, tips, message cards and other congratulatory purposes.
9. “Here comes the Spring” Postcard (1 item)
The postcard portrays a cat standing at a Japanese traditional house, looking and seemingly trying to communicate with a bush warbler that is resting on a plum blossom tree. This scenery is absolutely the definition of a peaceful, beautiful spring day!
10. Cheese & Plum Flavored Rice Crackers (5p/1 pack)
Number of items: 10
The Snack Box
1. Suppa-Mucho Plum Chips (1p)
2. Jagariko Limited Edition Plum Sardine Flavored Potato Sticks (1p)
3. Teshioya Plum Hard-baked Senbei Rice Crackers (2p)
4. Wakayama Souvenir: Plum Sable Cookies (2p)
5. Wakayama Souvenir: Plum flavored Puffed Corn Snack (2p)
Wakayama’s most famous attractions, namely Kumano Kodo Trail, Wakayama Castle & Shirahama Beach are illustrated on the packets.
6. Sweet Dried Plums (3p)
7. Plum Blossom Shaped Arare Rice Crakers (1p)
8. Waffle Chocolat (2p)
Seasonal Edition of Premium Waffle Sandwiches from Minamoto Kitchoan – a major maker of Japanese Wagashi that has branches worldwide.
9. Colombin Baked Chocolate (2p)
Colombin is one of the confectionery companies that produce snacks for the Japanese royal family.
10. Tokyo’s Lovers Heart-shaped Cookies (2p)11. Caramel Macchiato Sandwich Cookies (2p)
Seasonal Limited Edition of the Sugar Butter Sand Tree product line from Grapestone – a confectionery company that owns several famous food brands such as Tokyo Banana.
12. Genji Pie (2p)
13. Sho – Chiku – Bai Postcard (1 item)
The postcard reads “The love that is unchanged like pine leaves. The heart that is flexible like bamboos. The smile that shines through hardship like plum blossoms.”
Number of items: 22