A ``Bonbai Exhibition'' featuring a collection of plum bonsai is being held at a shrine in Nara City associated with Michizane Sugawara, known as the god of learning.

The Bon Plum Blossom Exhibition is held at Sugawara Tenmangu Shrine in Nara City around this time every year, and around 100 varieties and 200 pots of plum bonsai grown by the shrine are displayed on the grounds.

Among these, the variety ``Sugawara no Saotome'' is characterized by its pink petals, whose front side is pale while the reverse side is brightly colored.

In addition, the variety ``Unryubai'' has branches that grow upwards like a dragon ascending to the sky, and blooms with double white flowers.

According to the shrine, due to the continued warm weather this year, the flowers bloomed about two weeks earlier than usual, making now the best time to see them.

Visitors enjoyed the early spring atmosphere by taking photos and being surrounded by the scent of plum blossoms.

A man in his 80s from Nara City said, ``All of the works were wonderful.I feel like I can think of a good haiku when I look at Bonbai.''

Shinichi Nakamura, chief priest of Sugawara Tenmangu Shrine, said, ``I want people to enjoy the branches of the Bon plum trees displayed both indoors and outdoors and the scent of the flowers.''

This Bonbai exhibition is open until March 3rd.