PLUM BLOSSOM VIEWING
Seasonal flower viewing is a wildly popular activity here. One of the first flowers to bloom, so associating it with the beginning of spring is the Japanese plum (ume, 梅), whose blossom ranges from white to dark pink, depending on the cultivar. And often there are ume matsuri (festivals) celebrating the plum blossom with cultural performances, processions, and food stalls . The matsuri at Yushima Tenjin is one I always like to visit. All over Tokyo there are parks and temples where we can see the plum blossom – from about now until early- to mid-March. Below is a list of popular locations if you’d like to see the ume in full-bloom:
• Hanegi Park – a medium-sized park with a great matsuri
• Kairakuen – a beautiful landscaped garden on the Joban line
• Kameido Tenjin – A very picturesque temple with a photogenic bridge
• Koishikawa Korakuen – a beautiful garden, very tranquil without all the festivities.
• Odawara Ume Matsuri – in Kanagawa, with amazing views of Mt. Fuji as a backdrop
• Shiba Park – a smaller park, though with the impressive Tokyo Tower in the background
• Ushi-Tenjin Kitano Shrine – red blossoms and weeping blossoms.
• Yushima Tenjin Shrine- the blooms here are, in my opinion, the prettiest.