At least we hope the plum blossom photos from the Atami Baien Ume Festival will hopefully outlive our less pleasant memories of the day, eh? Chris and I celebrated his first weekend off in many weeks by taking a bus down the Izu Peninsula to harvest…and sample…some Japanese oranges that later featured in a delicious salad dressing I made (recipe coming soon). From there, it was up to Atami, where we caught the end of the plum blossom festival, enjoying the many colors and styles of blossoms and soaking our feet in the natural onsen foot bath. Strains of traditional Japanese music drifted through the garden; the delicate perfume of plum blossoms wafted over the onsen from the tree that also loosed its petals into the steaming water every time a breeze blew. That was my favorite part of the day! Here’s a view of the Pacific from our lunch table.