Plum blossoms are the forerunners of spring in Japan. They bloom before the cherry blossoms from early February. To celebrate the flowers, Ume Matsuri (plum festivals) are held in many parks, shrines, and temples in Japan.

Below are some of the parks and shrine in Tokyo where you can appreciate the plum blossoms now.

Hanegi Park

Train: Umegaoka Station on Odakyu Line
Period: February 11 to March 6, 2016
Time: 10am to 4pm
Admission: Free
Official Website: Setagaya City

The Setagaya Ume Matsuri is held during the above period. This city park has 650 plum trees of about 60 kinds.

Yushima Tenjin Shrine

Train: Yushima Station on Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line
Period: February 8 to March 8, 2016
Time: 8am to 7:30pm
Admission: Free Official Website: Yushima Tenjin Shrine (English)

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The Bunkyo Ume Matsuri is held during the above period. Yushima Tenjin Shrine has been a popular place for plum tree viewing ever since the Edo period. There are about 300 plum trees.

Koishikawa Korakuen

Train: Korakuen Station on Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line
Period: February 11 to March 6, 2016
Time: 9am to 5pm
Admission: General 300 yen
Official Website: Let’s go to gardens (English)

Ume Matsuri is held during the above period. Free English guided tour (60min) is available at 10am and 1pm every Saturday.

Shinjuku Gyoen Park

Train: Shinjuku and Shinjuku Gyoen Station
Period: 9am to 4pm
Admission: General 200 yen

Although Shinjuku Gyoen Park is not holding any event for plum blossoms, there are about 300 plum trees in the park. The park is an oasis in the city located near busy Shinjuku area.

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