They may not be as famous as the cherry flowers, but when plum blossoms bloom, we can tell for sure that the winter season is over and early spring is on its way. Also, during this season, there are a lot of festivals celebrated all around Japan.
This shrine is famous among students, who go there to pray for success in passing their exams. In fact, you can see a lot of ema (small wooden tablets on which people write their wishes) with messages such as 合格するように！(Goukaku suru youni! “I wish I pass my exams!”)
The plum blossom festival here lasts an entire month. You can enjoy a lot of food stands and various performances.
When: February 8th to March 8th
Access: 2-minute walk from Yushima Station (Chiyoda line)
Opening hours: 6:00 – 20:00
This park has a central pond with beautiful trees surrounding it. There are only a few plum trees here, but you can still enjoy the rest of the scenery! This is a great place to have a stroll and relax. A visit here will make you completely forget you’re in the middle of Tokyo.
We also recommend visiting this park during the sakura season!!
When: Late January to early March
Access: 2-minute walk from Iidabashi Station (Toei Oedo line)
Opening hours: 9:00 – 17:00 (last entry at 16:30)
Entry price: 300 yen
Hanegi Park is a small park the quiet neighbor of Umegaoka, which means literally plum blossom hill. This place gets a lot of attention in February because of its plum festival, and there you can enjoy a total of 650 plum trees.
When: February 11th to March 5th
Access: 3-minute walk from Umegaoka Station (Odakyu line)
Opening hours: 7:30 – 18:00
Odawara Ume Matsuri
How about watching plum blossoms with a great view of Mount Fuji in the background? This is possible in Odawara Park in Kanagawa Prefecture, just an hour and a half away from Tokyo.
The best place to enjoy the flowers is the Soga Bairin, an ume grove with more than 30.000 trees in full bloom. Every year there is a festival here with performances such as the “lion dance,” “lantern dance,” horseback archery, and more.
When: February 4th to March 5th
Access: 10-minute walk from JR Odawara Station to Odawara Castle.