Photo/IllutrationSightseers enjoy early plum blossoms in Osaka Castle Park in the city’s Chuo Ward on the morning on Feb. 20. (Sayuri Ide)

  • Photo/Illustraion

OSAKA--It is now a plum time after enduring the battle of icy attrition with winter.

Just a week after much of Japan was frozen, balmy weather swamped the nation, and plum trees responded by ushering out their beautiful blooms.

Those who descended on Osaka Castle Park on Feb. 20 were enchanted by a spread of colorful plum blossoms.

It was about time as the freezing winter had delayed their arrival by more than a week this year, according to a park official.

About one-third of the expected flowers are now blooming in the park in the city’s Chuo Ward.

The species of plum in the park that blossom earlier are festooned with flowers with the others playing catch-up.

Visitors can enjoy the blossoms through to about mid-March. They pave the way for the famous cherry blossoms that will then take over Japan.