Every year, around this period, plum blossoms start to bloom in Japan, heralding the approach of spring. This week, I’ll be introducing some plum blossom viewing spots in Yokohama City.
Sankeien, in Naka Ward’s Honmoku, has long been famous for its plum blossoms. Approximately 500 trees including white and red plum trees produce some truly beautiful blooms. Particularly recommended are the uncommon “Garyobai”, which has branches that sway like a dragon heaving its body along the ground, and the “Ryokugakubai”, where the calyx at the base of the petals is green.
During the plum blossom viewing period, “Hatsune Tea Room” will be serving barley tea free of charge. Inside the hexagonal hut hangs a kettle that has been used to boil tea for a hundred years. Visitors can experience a taste of Japan along with the approach of spring.
The plum blossom viewing period at Sankeien is from Saturday 8th February - Sunday 1st March.
At Okurayama Park, there are around 220 trees of 46 varieties, from early blooming plum trees to late blooming ones, so the blossoms can be enjoyed for an extended period.
On February 22nd and 23rd, when Okurayama plum blossom viewing is being held, a special stage will be set up inside the plum grove, with a variety of performances planned, such as Japanese traditional dance, taiko, and shakuhachi, so visitors can enjoy Japanese culture.
There will also be an open air tea ceremony held by the local high school tea ceremony club, so participants can enjoy making tea while taking in the plum blossoms.
Tasting and sales of Okurayama plum sake, 'Ume no Kaori', will also be taking place, and stalls will set up by the local shopping street too.
Okurayama Plum Blossom Viewing will take place between 10am and 4pm on both Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd February.
Come to Yokohama, and enjoy seeing the plum blossoms!