These blooms are now gone, but were too pretty not to share. The young nashi (pears) are forming under the green leaves that fill out more and more every day. What's interesting about this orchard is that it is near our apartment in Tokyo, and is clearly a remnant of the farms that used to dominate this area. Two old farmhouses still stand just north of the pears with fields in production and an accompanying chestnut orchard. It's also just a block or so away from a bike path with a favorite vegetable stand on it, and a major road. Bees must now wing their way over a small factory, a school, apartment buildings, and houses rather than former fields and forests.
Japanese pears are not as sugary sweet as their American counterparts, nor are they as soft and squishy. About the size of a softball their texture is more like that of an apple. They are lovely alone, in oatmeal, granola, with yogurt, and in salad. I'm also betting they'd make a great jam, which is on the agenda for this fall.