Late February is usually the best time of year to see plum blossoms in Tokyo, but with so many varieties in bloom you’re sure to find a decent viewing spot all season long. We’ve picked out the top ten places to view the plum (ume) blossoms in Tokyo.
Yushima Tenman-gu (Yushima Tenjin)
Yushima Tenjin Shrine is a long-standing favorite and a good place to start. The grounds are home to over 300 plum trees, and the shrine celebrates each spring with traditional performances, seasonal refreshments, and tea ceremonies.
With hundreds of flowering plum trees livening things up each spring, Keio Mogusaen is one of Tokyo’s best ume viewing spots. Live traditional performances and refreshments will be held on weekends during their plum festival lasting until mid-March.
This scenic garden in Yokohama, very close to Tokyo, has a large concentration of ume. The flower viewing celebrations here begin in early February and into March.
Each spring, Hanegi Park’s plum blossom celebrations end up being some of the most popular in Tokyo. On February weekends during nice weather, the park grows lively with crowds, music, and vendors hawking their wares.
Oume Plum Park (Yoshino Baigo)
If you’d rather stroll among the blossoms than sit under them, Oume’s Plum Park is the perfect viewing spot. Over one thousand flowering trees color the hills of the park in purple, pink, and white. Their ume festivities last well into March.
Ushi Kitano (Ushi Tenjin)
Ushi Tenjin’s spring plum blossom festival features an amazing variety of ume-flavored or plum-based sweets, drinks, and snacks. The trees that flower here are of a deeper hue than most.
Mukojima Hyakkaen, a traditional Japanese garden that has been preserved since the Edo Period, invites visitors to enjoy the plum blossoms, watch the performances, and purchase small snacks and souvenirs.
Koganei Park is home to over one hundred flowering plum trees. A spring plum festival takes place here every year, featuring musical performances, tea ceremonies, and culture classes.
Zojoji Buddhist Temple and the surrounding area, Shiba Park, are one of the city’s best plum blossom viewing spots. In early spring, the park hosts an Ume Festival that finishes in mid-February.
This park has a small garden devoted to plum trees that are best enjoyed in late February. There will also be traditional performances and guided tours available for visitors.