This year’s winter is about to be over very soon. According to the Lunar calendar, Japan’s spring has already started. Plum blossoms are the very first flowers that are blooming every spring to welcome the season of flowers pampered by the cool breeze. We could see some plum trees around our surroundings with flowers already blooming. Most Japanese gardens might have a plum tree which welcomes the new season to the garden. The blossoms of Ume or the Japanese plum trees (or Japanese Apricot) that could be seen in many different varieties can be enjoyed at its most by selecting appropriate locations to view them.
Last year, I was searching for the best locations in Aichi prefecture, near Nagoya, for viewing Ume blossoms. If anybody would like to watch it this year in any of these locations, I highly recommend it.
Park around Nagoya castle
Nagoya castle is the first location to visit for anyone coming to Nagoya. Surrounded by a vast garden, the castle grounds are one of the main Hanami spots of Nagoya city. Not only is it having Sakura trees, it is also one of the best locations for plum blossoms with some hundreds of Ume trees blooming around mid-February. Situated at the heart of Nagoya city, it's really convenient for visitors to access the place. It is possible to view the re-construction works of the Honmaru palace if you are visiting this season.
Nagoya’s zoo and Botanical gardens situated in Higashiyama is another spot for Ume blossom viewing. There are more than 200 trees of various varieties in the park. For those who wish to enjoy a day along with other attractions, it's an ideal spot. A full day of entertainment is possible including viewing the blossoms (both Ume and Sakura).
Nagoya Nogyo center
The Nogyo center of Nagoya is a spot with many different varieties of Ume trees. There are more than 800 trees in this area. There are many colours of plum blossoms including white, pink, rose, and light reddish colours. This place will be highly crowded during the season for Ume viewing. Many other attractions are also awaiting here such as enjoying healthy food items from the stalls.
O-Agata Jinja of Inuyama
Photo: Bong Grit on FlickrThere is a festival called Umematsuri at the O-Agata Jinja of Inuyama during mid-March. The shrine, which is famous for its harvest festival, has a small hill at its back which is full of many varieties of plum trees. Ranging from white to pink colours, the blossoms spread across this hill. A lot of visitors are coming here every year around mid-March to view the Ume blossoms. The harvest festival of this shrine is also conducted around mid-March.
Togokusan Fruit Park of Kozoji
The fruit park located at the foot of Mt. Togoku is another famous spot in Nagoya for Ume viewing. It is also crowded with people during the cherry blossom time. This vast park, located in a tranquil area, is a wise choice for spending some hours while enjoying the Ume blossoms. There will be some events and entertainment for children in this park. You can buy seasonal fruits sold there in small stalls. Also, there are food stalls with snacks and other souvenirs including special dry fruits and other items.
Let’s enjoy this season of flowers that is starting very soon. Spring in Japan is very beautiful : there are so many special places all over the nation for viewing various flowers and gardens.