5 Best Places to See Plum Blossoms



5 Best Places to See Plum Blossoms

Many people may think of cherry blossoms when they think of spring flowers, but if you want to enjoy early cherry blossom viewing, look out for plum blossoms! Some varieties start blooming as early as January and reach their peak in February.
Ume blossoms are similar to cherry and peach blossoms, but they have round petals with an unbroken tip, and only one flower blooms per node.
There are many famous plum blossom viewing spots in Tokyo where you can enjoy various types of plum blossoms. The "Ume Festival" held at each of these places is always crowded with people, with food stalls and specialty markets.
Here are 5 best places to see such beautiful plum blossoms in Tokyo.

  • 01

    Ikegami Umeen viewing spot for those in the know

    The Ikegami Umeen, located in Ikegami, Ota Ward, is a beautiful place to visit in spring, reminiscent of a peach garden. The plum blossom garden is located on a small hill, where you can see about 370 plum trees of 30 varieties.

    The best time to see plum blossoms at Ikegami Umeen is usually from late February to early March. In case of a mild winter, the plum blossoms may be in full bloom a little earlier. The view of the plum blossoms in a variety of colors, including white, red, and light red, is beautiful and symbolic of spring.

    The park normally closes at 4:30 p.m., but during the plum blossom season, it will be lit up at night until around 8:00 p.m. (to be determined in 2022).

    While it is still cold in winter, the cherry blossom viewing is like anticipating spring. After viewing the ume plum blossoms, you can have a tea at the nearby "Rengetsu" old house cafe or visit "Ikegami Honmonji Temple".

    Best time to visit: Late February to early March
    6 min. walk from Nishimagome Station
    12 min. walk from Ikegami Station

  • 02

    Takao Umego Enjoy plum blossoms with hiking

    Near Mt. Takao, famous for hiking for all ages, is "Takao Umego," where 10,000 plum trees stand in a row. Takao Umego, which can be reached on foot or by bus from Takao Station or Takao Yamaguchi Station, consists of eight plum groves, with plum trees lining a 4.5 km stretch along the old Koshu Kaido Road and Kobutsu River.
    The best time to visit is usually from late February to mid-March. The plum trees are lined up along the old Koshu Kaido and Kobutsu River for about 4.5 km.

    Unlike temples, shrines, and other facilities, it is not overly crowded, and you can appreciate the plum blossoms at your own pace, which is another attraction of Takao Umego.
    A plum blossom festival is usually held in mid-March. Mt. Takao is at its busiest during the autumn foliage season, but why not venture out to see the plum blossoms at the beginning of spring?
    Best time to visit: Late February to mid-March
    15-minute walk from Takao Station
    10-minute walk from Takao Yamaguchi Station

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  • 03

    Yushima Tenmangu with fragrance of plum blossoms

    Yushima Tenmangu Shrine is famous for its blessings for academic success. The shrine is dedicated to Michizane Sugawara, the god of learning, and is worshipped by many students preparing for entrance exams.

    On the other hand, it is also a popular spot for plum blossoms, and has been selected as one of the "100 New Views of Tokyo.
    Within the precincts of the temple, there are about 300 plum trees of about 20 varieties, mainly Kaga-ume (plum blossoms), which are at their best from mid-February to mid-March. You can enjoy the plum blossoms in the plum garden just inside the Karamon gate and in the plum garden next to the Onna-zaka slope on the right side of the main shrine.

    Also, during the plum blossom season, the shrine is usually lit up until around 8 pm. The plum blossoms at night, known as "yakambai," are lustrous and fantastic, a far cry from the loveliness of the daytime.
    And the "Ume Festival" is a springtime tradition in Tokyo that should not be missed. The festival is held for about a month from the beginning of February, when the plum trees begin to bloom, and is filled with fun activities such as limited edition red seals and food stalls.

    Best time to visit: Mid-February to mid-March
    2-minute walk from Yushima Station
    5-minute walk from Ueno-hirokoji Station
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    5-minute walk from Ueno-hirokoji Station
    10-minute walk from Hongo-sanchome Station

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  • 04

    Kamedo Tenjin Shrine with Sky Tree

    Kameido Tenjin Shrine, also known as "God of Kameido" or "Kameido Tenmangu Shrine", is located in Kameido, Koto-ku, and is a popular shrine for academic success. The shrine is famous for its wisteria flowers, but since it is dedicated to Michizane Sugawara, who loved plum blossoms, there are more than 300 plum trees planted in the shrine grounds.

    It is said that Michizane composed many waka poems here when he was still a child, and there is a monument to his poems and a statue of Michizane on the grounds.

    And the best part is that you can enjoy different kinds of plum blossoms depending on the time of year, such as Kureha Shidare(weeping plum), Beni Chidori (Chinese plum), Shirokaga (while plum), and Tsukikage (pure white flowers and have a strong scent). The view of the Tokyo Sky Tree (R) can also be seen from here, making it an unmissable spot not only for ume viewing but also for sightseeing in Tokyo.

    A plum blossom festival is usually held for about a month from early February. In addition to the famous product markets, sweet sake is served and tea ceremonies are held, making the festival an enjoyable and tasteful event.

    Best time to visit: Mid-February to early March
    11 min. walk from Kameido Station

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  • 05

    Hanegi Park

    Hanegi Park, located in Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, is a vast park with sports facilities such as a softball field, a play park, a tea house, and a plum forest. In the plum grove, about 650 plum trees of about 60 varieties have been planted, with 380 white plum trees and 270 red plum trees.

    There are many varieties of plum trees, and the timing of their blooming is wide, with some of them blooming as early as mid-December. The attraction is that you can enjoy them for a long time, from the end of the year to early March.

    The Setagaya Plum Blossom Festival is usually held at Hanegi Park for a month from early February every year. At the store corner, there are booths set up by the local shopping district and a local confectionary store, Kameya.
    In addition, there are also planting and gardening markets and mochi-tsuki (rice cake pounding) events, so everyone from children to adults can enjoy the festival all day long.
    The best time to see the flowers is from mid-December to early March (depending on the variety).

    5 min. walk from Umegaoka Station
    7 min. walk from Higashimatsubara Station
    10 min. walk from Setagaya Station

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