Ume (plum) blossoms have started to bloom all around town. Their smell is so sweet! Sakura (cherry blossom) hysteria begins in April or so.
We went exploring on Saturday and found a little old farm house just close to the apartment in Futako Tamagawa. This loom made woven sandals years and years ago.
The farmhouse had put out their collection of dolls for Hinamatsuri. This is the day reserved for prayers for young girls growth and happiness. Families set out dolls and rice crackers as offerings on displays like this. The superstition follows that if mothers don't put the dolls away immediately at the end Hinamatsuri, their daughters will never get married. My girls today were utterly convinced my mom forgot to put the dolls away....they are a little too mouthy, these 7 year olds.
The top tier of the shelf is reserved for the emperor and empress. There are usually 3, 5, or 7 shelves in a display which are lucky numbers in Japan.