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Chasing Sakura: Now Blooming Japanese Plum Trees in Tokyo (Feb-Mar)

Setagaya Japanese Plum Trees
There are over 100 cherry tree varieties in Japan. During spring season they bloom around March to April.  If you happen to be in Japan in February, you may want to see equally gorgeous but less famous Japanese plum trees instead. It's got 5 clove petals, bears edible fruit, and are native to Asia.

Cherry vs Plum Trees

Cherry blossoms have a small split at the end of each petal, while plum blossoms don't have the split and are round.  The colors of a plum tree are from white, light pink, dark pink, or red whereas the cherry tree only has white and pink petals. More than one blossom can come out from a single cherry bud.  On the other hand, only one blossom comes out from a plum bud.  That must be why the blossom of the cherry trees look much richer.  Also, the plum trees in this park were planted a bit farther from each other.

It's our first Springtime in Japan, so we took the opportunity to check out these trees in a park that is luckily just one bus ride away from our place - Hanegi Park in Setagaya.

I almost got disappointed as I only saw about 10 cherry plum trees to the area we first went to.

What is that little boy under the plum trees?!

I read the official website again and found that there should be around 650 plum trees in the park! We went around again dragging Lucas who just wants to play in the playground - one of the roughest I've seen here in Tokyo!

This is in one of the playgrounds within Hanegi Park.  Reminded me of how I used to play in the province.

Then we saw them, right by the food bazaar where of course, guess what you can buy? Plum products!

Other Japanese food to eat

Plum (Ume) Products for sale

There are indeed a lot of plum trees! Colors from white to dark pink.

Plum buds

White plums

Light Pink

Dark pink


Gone with the wind?

They even sell plum trees here, ready to bloom!  Must be the trees I see around our neighborhood. I thought they were cherries.

Plum trees for sale for only 2,000 yen
As you can see, plum trees have small petals and some of the buds haven't bloomed yet while some already lost its petals. The Plum Festivals are held from February 8 to March 1 in this park. Check the official website as dates may change.  They also show the number of plum trees in bloom each day.

Around our neighborhood, there are a lot of plum trees in full bloom. Wouldn't it be nice to have one in your very own garden?

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