The Jindai Plum Festival
One of the most popular tourist attractions is Sakura Season. Sakura season is when all the cherry blossoms bloom in Japan. It's such a popular attraction, that the specialists in nature have to predict when exactly each area in Japan are going to bloom, and release that information on the Internet.
On those days the Japanese people and tourist flank the popular spots to get beautiful pictures of the blossom. They also take picnics, eat Sakura flavoured food, and drink lots of beer and sake.
Most people associate Sakura season with the cherry trees, but some of the most prettiest and sweetest smelling bloom comes from the plum trees.
There is a plum festival going on, and it finishes soon. It's the only one currently happening in Tokyo right now, but it's certainly worth the check.
The Jindai Plum Festival is a beautiful festival that boasts a lot of pungent deep pink fully blossomed plum trees.
These plum trees are old, but they look very quaint and artistic in their setting. The plum tree garden is just over a five minute walk from the entrance, but there's a lot of other kinds of gardens to look at on the way if you want too.
When you get to the plum garden you will see a fabulous array of trees, and lots of colour!
People will walk around taking selfies with the blossom. Even I did. It's some of the prettiest blossom I have seen here.
Afterwards if you like, you can exit the gardens to head towards the festival stands, and see their plum inspired foods, or traditional food street stands, or sip some sake.
If you don't wish to do that, you could head back towards the cafe, where they also serve traditional Japanese food such as katsu curry, udon, and soba. I took the traditional winter fish stew called Oden. It's normally a side dish, but they had it as a set meal for ¥700. Oden contains egg, various fish cakes, soft Japanese radish, and a side serving of mustard to put in your soup if you want too.
They also have a selection of coffees. One that caught my eye was rose flavoured coffee, which is unique to match their gardens. I'm not a big drinker of flowered flavoured tea or coffee, but if you are, then I recommend it. It costs ¥400.
The Jindai Plum Festival is being held at Jindai Botanical Gardens in Chofu. It's on all week, and finishes on Sunday, March 6th. Even if you miss the festival, this garden is worth seeing.
You can take the train to Chofu station on Keio line, Kichijoji station on either Chuo line or Inokashira line, or Mitaka station on Chuo-sobu local line. From any of those stations you can take a bus bound for Jidaiji. It costs about ¥180 to take the bus, but I would advise you check the price. It'll say on the bus.
When you get to the gardens you will need to buy a ticket to enter. It costs ¥500, but it goes towards the upkeep of the garden. Seniors pay ¥250, junior high school students pay ¥200, and young children are free.
The Jindai Botanical Gardens are open from 9:30-5:00pm. They open from Tuesday – Sunday, and closed on Monday. If Monday is a national holiday, then they will close on Tuesday. The gardens close on all national holidays, so please check the website before you go. Last entry is 4pm.
Address: 5-31-10 Jindaiji-Motomachi, Chofu-shi, Tokyo