10 Best Plum blossom Viewing Spots in Japan

10 Best Plum blossom Viewing Spots in Japan inabeshi Nogyokoen

Persevering through even the coldest of winter days, beautiful plum blossoms bloom to grace their surroundings with a mesmerizing display. These delicate flowers come in an array of colors ranging from pale white and soft pinks, all radiating sweet fragrance that will delight your senses. With five petals set atop no leaf stalks they represent hope and temperance – inspiring us, like sakura blooms do, when nothing else around is changing or growing.

What are plum blossoms? How are they different from cherry blossoms?

Plum and cherry blossoms. The pink beauty of each flower turns any landscape into a floral paradise. Flowers that bid farewell to winter and flowers that herald the arrival of spring. Flowers that seem similar at first glance, yet are different.

ume and sakura difference

First, pay attention to the petals. If the petals have a slit, it is a cherry blossom; if not, it is a plum.
Cherry blossoms have a small branch, the petiole, which hangs down from the branch to hold the flower. Another characteristic of cherry blossoms is that multiple flowers bloom in clusters on a single node. On the other hand, the plum tree has no petiole and blooms directly from the branch, with one flower per node.

Plum blossom season usually runs from February to late March, but may vary by region and type. It blooms earlier than cherry blossoms, so for many people this is a sign of the arrival of spring and warmer weather.

There are many places in Japan where you can enjoy plum blossoms to your heart’s content. Here are 10 Best Plum blossom Viewing Spots in Japan.

Ten Best Plum Blossom Viewing Spots

Kairakuen 偕楽園 in Ibaraki Prefecture

Step into history when you visit Kairakuen, a beautiful Japanese-style garden located in the heart of Mito city. Built almost two centuries ago by Tokugawa Nariaki as a place for all to enjoy, this Edo Period masterpiece is one of Japan’s Three Great Gardens alongside Korakuen and Kenrokuen. But it’s not just its grandeur that makes Kairakuen special – come February and March on your journey here, be mesmerized by 3 thousand blooming plum trees of 100 varieties! A stunning sight surely worth admiring during their annual Plum Blossom Festival.

Kairakuen Garden
Opening hours:
  6:00 – 19:00 (mid February to September)
  7:00 – 18:00 (October to mid February)
Number of plum tree: about 3,000
Entrance fee: ¥300
Access: Take JR Hitachi Tokiwa from Tokyo to JR Mito Station. Take the bus from the north exit of Mito Station and get off at Kairakuen (15 minutes).
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/Ki9nYcBHemrQhj1V7


Yushima Tenjin Shrine 湯島天神 in Tokyo

Yushima Tenjin, located in Tokyo’s Ueno district near Ueno Park and popularly known as Yushima Tenmangu, is an alluring destination for those looking to experience the beauty of plum blossoms. Not only devoted students visit this small Shinto shrine seeking knowledge from its deity dedicated to scholarship—it also beckons visitors with astonishing floral displays! From February through March each year it holds the Bunkyo Plum Festival where one can explore delicious local delicacies at food stalls, admire drum performances guaranteed to fill you with energy & marvel at illuminated blooms during nighttime strolls.

Yushima Tenjin Shrine
Opening hours
: 6:00 – 20:00
Number of plum tree: about 300
Entrance fee:  Free
Access: A few minutes on foot from Yushima station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line)
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/5K1xSotSNBvyNtLZ6 


Atami Plum Garden 熱海梅園 in Shizuoka Prefecture

Take a journey to Atami Plum Garden and get enchanted by over 500 delightful plum trees of 60 different varieties! From early December, they start blooming one after the other in anticipation for winter’s end. But if you visit from mid-January through March, you will be rewarded with an even longer spectacle – not just beautiful plums but some gorgeous sakura added into the mix too! And when fall arrives again, let your senses indulge autumn foliage that stretches on for miles at this sublime garden that has been around for centuries.

Atami Plum Garden
Opening hours: 8:30 – 16:00
Number of plum tree: about 470
Entrance fee: ¥300
Access: About 15 minute bus ride from JR Atami Station
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/ceQcwz8giy5WXtX49


Inabe City Agriculture Park いなべ市農業公園 in Mie Prefecture

Embark on a romantic journey to Inabe City Agriculture Park! Located in the beautiful Mie prefecture, it is one of Japan’s most renowned plum blossom viewing spots. Here you can find 4,500 trees adorned with 100 varieties and blossoms ranging from pink to white and red – creating an almost ethereal display when framed against Suzuka mountain range’s snow-capped peaks. If your schedule permits come check out their annual Plum Festival in March for even more spectacular views coupled with exciting activities that are sure to dazzle all ages!

Inabe City Agriculture Park
Opening hours
: 9:00 – 16:00
Number of plum tree: about 4,000
Entrance fee:  ¥500 (for Plum Festival)
Access: From Kintetsu Kuwana Station, go to Nishi-Kuwana Station, get off at Ageki Station on the Sangi Railway Hokusei Line, and take a taxi for about 20 minutes to Inabe City Agricultural Park
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/ohmEuUwgShnnrhiX9


Tsukigase Plum Grove 月ヶ瀬 梅林 in Nara Prefecture

Nestled among the majestic, mountainous landscape of Japan’s Nara Prefecture lies Tsukigase Plum Valley. Every year, thousands of visitors flock to this stunning valley for a glimpse at its 10,000 vibrant plum trees that sweetly perfume the air and captivate tiny birds as they blossom in early  February. Come April time however and you’ll be rewarded with an exquisite spectacle – 3,000 cherry blossoms come alive to give way to one of Kansai Region’s most awe-inspiring sites! For those lucky enough so witness it first hand – it’ll surely take your breath away!

Tsukigase Plum Grove
Opening hours
: 24 hours
Number of plum tree: about 10,000
Entrance fee:  Free
Access: 15minute taxi ride from JR Tsukigaseguchi Station
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/zztVS2TKeVRhG2Ve8


Anou Plum Grove 賀名生梅林 in Nara Prefecture

The enchanting Anou Plum Grove offers a tranquil escape to admire the exquisite beauty of 20,000 plum trees under an expansive pink sky. This lush landscape—which has enthralled visitors since its establishment in the 14th century when court nobles praised it with magnificent poetry — sits atop rolling hills and blooms with color between February and March inviting one to enjoy Japan’s most iconic flower display! Take a journey from JR Gojo station for only 20 minutes by bus–the perfect distance for finding yourself surrounded by nature’s delicate magic.

Anou Plum Grove
Opening hours: 8:30 – 17:00
Number of plum tree: about 20,000
Admission fee: Free
Access: 20 minute bus ride from JR Gojō station
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/yzJVKDW4nNfa7Rv97 

Osaka Castle Plum Grove 大阪城 梅林 in Osaka

Step back in time and experience the defining symbol of Osaka – Osaka Castle. Marvel at how each historical event has formed its grand silhouette against a captivating backdrop of plum blossoms, numbering 1270 trees with 100 varieties between them! Gaze on this majestic vision from any angle you choose – or ascend to the castle’s tower for an unparalleled view that will make you feel as if you’re lord over it all. It is simply stunning when these colorful blooms come into full bloom around mid-March; don’t miss your chance to capture a piece of beauty frozen in time!

Osaka Castle Plum Grove
Opening hours: 24 hours
Number of plum tree: about 1,270
Entrance fee:  Free
Access: Five minute walk from Osakajo-koen station
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/z5YJa46gpg5Juo7d6

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine 北野天満宮 in Kyoto Prefecture

Kitano Tenmangu is a storybook-like Shinto shrine located in the northern part of Kyoto city, honoring Sugawara no Michizane – an iconic 9th century scholar. When February rolls around, 2,000 plum trees fill its sacred grounds with vibrant blooms and beckon visitors to celebrate at the Plum Blossom Festival (Baikasai Nodate Ochanoyu). On this very day you can enjoy sweet treats served by Maiko & Geisha as well as festive tea ceremonies! But if your plans don’t take you there during spring season – fret not: autumn brings forth hundreds of maple trees that paint Kitano Tenmangu’s sprawling gardens into stunning reds and oranges!

Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
Opening hours
: 5:00 -17:30
Number of plum tree: about 1,500
Entrance fee:  Free
Access: From JR Kyoto Station, 35 minute bus ride
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/fiRYjPGnargf7sLn8 


Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine 太宰府天満宮 in Fukuoka Prefecture

Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine is a beautiful and mystical place, home to over 6,000 plum tree blossoms. But one stands out above the rest –  the legendary Tobiume known as the “Flying Plum Tree”. It’s said that this enchanted tree flew across Japan from Kyoto all the way to Fukuoka in search of Sugawara no Michizane whose admiration for plums drove him beyond limits; it remains there still today blessing Dazaifu with its first blooming each year! Explore 12 km squared of unparalleled beauty at Dazaiff Tenmangu shrine!

Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine
Opening hours
: 6:30 – 18:30
Number of plum tree: about 6,000
Entrance fee:  Free
Access: Five minute walk from Nishitetsu Dazaifu Station
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/huJHP6BnuMVwMNb16 


Bairin-ji 梅林寺 in Fukuoka Prefecture

Escape to beautiful Bairinji temple in Kurume city for a delightful, blooming experience! This Rinzai Sect Buddhist Temple is an enchanting sight with 500 plum blossom trees of 30 different varieties adorning its grounds. With over three centuries of history since it was established by the Arima family during Japan’s Edo Period, this picturesque forest boasts displays of dazzling hues consisting mainly of white and pink plums although you’ll find some glimmering red ones too. If your visit falls later on towards March end don’t worry; cherry blossoms will be at their glorious best then as well!

Opening hours: 24 hrs
Number of plum tree: about 500
Entrance fee: Free
Access:  5 minute walk from JR Kurume Station
Map: https://goo.gl/maps/gMYWvFdrE35dRhXw6


Thank you for reading!

In this blog, we have introduced the 10 best ume blossom viewing spots. Once the ume start blooming, spring is just around the corner! From January through March you can discover some of the country’s best viewing spots and get a taste for one more special part of this amazing culture. So why not seize the moment and make your way around these 10 breathtaking locations 🙂  If you happen to come to Japan from January to March, before the cherry blossoms bloom, please enjoy viewing plum blossoms!

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