By on February 14, 2017

When the weather gets warmer and the plum (ume) petals start to take shape, you know that the big Hanami season is just a few weeks away.

The plum blossoms with its own charm and oriental aroma help brighten up our nature parks and gardens from mid February. It’s a timely reminder to bask in its serene beauty.

In the beautiful surroundings of Yushima Tenmangu Shrine close to Ueno, 300 pink and white ume trees burst into pink and white blossoms heralding spring. The Shrine holds its Ume Matsuri, a month-long festival, where events are staged in and around the temple precints. These include Tenjin drumming, an outdoor tea ceremony, kodan (story-telling), and rakugo (Japanese traditional comic story-telling).

After visiting the temple, move to the Ueno ponds and take a refreshing row to feel that spring nearly is in the air. If you can’t make it to the Yushima Tenjin Shrine, the 500 plum trees at the Keio Mogusaen Festival in the Tama area will more than make up for it. Over at Yokohama’s Sankeien Garden, apart from plum viewing, a plum tree bonsai exhibition also takes place with monkey entertainment!

Yushima Tenmangu Shrine until early MARCH
Keio Mogusaen until MARCH 12
Sankeien Garden until MARCH 5

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