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Monday, 10th February 2014
In Events In Japan,

Japan set for plum blossoms

Thousands of Japanese and international tourists are expected to be seen out and about from mid-February until the end of the month as plum trees all across the country will be blooming in spectacular fashion.

While the occasion has yet to garner the worldwide adoration of the cherry blossoms - which are set to bloom towards the end of March this year - it is nevertheless a fantastic occasion that many visitors to Japan can indulge in.

Those who might be disappointed to miss the cherry blossoms next month can console themselves with this equally amazing performance from Japan's trees, and there are a number of top spots across the nation to go to if you want to see them at their best.

One of these locations is Yushima Tenmangu Shrine, which has been cherished and beloved by flower admirers since the Edo period for its collection of 300 plum trees. Painting the gardens with a selection of colours, their beauty is undeniable.

Tokyo-based tourists should head along to Koishikawa Korakuen or Yushima Tenjin Shrine, both of which feature extensive collections of the trees.

However, those looking to experience the blossoms in a more communal location should take a stroll through Hanegi Park, particularly during the weekends when the Setagaya Ume Matsuri will be celebrated from February 8th until March 2nd.

Kyoto, Japan's most traditional city, is one of the best places to witness the plum blossoms. At its Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, visitors can admire around 2,000 individual trees before partaking in a special tea drinking festival.

The Japanese plum trees were originally introduced from China and bloom with a distinctive five-petal flower that ranges in colour from dark pink to pure white.

The actual ume fruit bears little resemblance to its Western cousin, with a much more bitter taste that is generally removed during processing before it can be eaten.

Written by Graham McPherson