We report the evolution of the mixing state of black carbon (BC) particles in urban plumes measured by an airborne single particle soot photometer. The aircraft observations were conducted over the ocean near the coast of Japan in March 2004. The number fiaction of coated BC particles with a core diameter of 180 mn increased from 0.35 to 0.63 within 12 hours (h), namely 2.3% h-1, after being emitted from the Nagoya urban area in Japan. BC particles with a core diameter of 250 nm increased at the slower rate of 1.0% h-1. The increase in coated BC particles was associated with increases in non-sea salt sulfate and water-soluble organic carbon by a factor of approximately two, indicating that these compounds contributed to the coating on the BC particles. These results give direct evidence that BC particles become internally mixed on a time scale of 12 h in urban plumes. Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.