Plum blossoms bloom in February and March when the weather is still cold, heralding the arrival of spring.
Here are some of the best plum blossom viewing spots in the Kyoto area.
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, God of Learning
All year round, students come to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, known as the god of learning, to pray for the success of their exams.
When the plum blossoms are in full bloom, the plum garden associated with Michizane Sugawara is open. You can walk around among the plum trees and enjoy the fragrance of the plum blossoms.
Bakurocho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto
Take the Kyoto city bus from Hankyu Kyoto Line Omiya Station and alight at Kitano Tenmangu-mae.
It's a short walk away.
Kyoto Imperial Garden, where you can feel the history of 1,000 years
The plum grove is located on the west side of the center of the Imperial Palace. There is also a peach grove right next to it, so depending on the season, you can enjoy both plum and peach blossoms.
The tall plum trees are popular for their peaceful early spring atmosphere, with the occasional Japanese bush warbler flying in.
3, Kyotogyoen, Kamigyo-ku Kyoto
From Hankyu Kyoto Line Karasuma Station,
transfer over to the Kyoto Municipal Subway
and go to Imadegawa Station. It's a short walk away.
Shimogamo Shrine, a power spot for matchmaking
There is a large plum tree near the tower gate. The contrast with the vermilion-lacquered gate is very beautiful and provides a beautiful early spring scene.
Plum blossoms are often viewed at about eye-level, but the highlight of this plum blossom is that the flowers open at a height that makes you look up.
59, Shimogamo Izumikawa-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Take the Kyoto city bus from Hankyu Kyoto Line Kyoto-kawaramachi Station
and alight at ShimogamoJinja-mae. It's a short walk away.
Umenomiya-taisha Shrine, the oldest plum blossom viewing spot in Kyoto
The symbol of Umenomiya-taisha Shrine, 450 ume trees of about 35 varieties are planted throughout the shrine grounds. It is recommended to visit the shrine when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom and the late blooming plum trees are in full bloom.
Umenomiya-taisha Shrine is also famous for the cats that live in its precincts. This shrine is a must-see for cat lovers.
30 Umezu Fukenokawacho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto,
11-minute walk from Hankyu Arashiyama Line Matsuo-taisha Station
Jonan-gu Shrine, weeping plum trees in full bloom
During the plum blossom season, Jonan-gu Shrine is visited by many tourists because of the beautiful contrast between the plum trees that cover the overhead and the red camellia flowers that fall in dots.
Founded in the south of Kyoto at the time of the Heian-kyo Capital transfer, it is worshiped as a major shrine that removes worries about moving, construction, and house construction.
7, Nakajimatobarikyucho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto
Take the Kyoto city bus from Hankyu Kyoto Line Omiya Station
and alight at Jonangu. It's a short walk away.
Nagaoka Tenmangu Shrine, with its beautiful seasonal flowers
To the east of the Nagaoka Tenmangu shrine grounds is the Hachijoga Pond, which is filled with water. After passing through Hachijyogaike, you will be greeted by a plum tree in front of the main shrine.
There is also a plum grove in Nagaoka Park, next to the temple grounds, where you can view many varieties.
2-15-13 Tenjin, Nagaokakyo, Kyoto
5-minute walk from Hankyu Kyoto Line Nagaoka-tenjin Station