Setagaya Ume Matsuri 2015 世田谷梅祭り

Plum blossoms are the best. Sakura (cherry blossoms) may get all the attention, but personally I love ume (plum) blossoms the most. They have the delicacy of cherry blossoms, but also the strength to survive the harsh conditions of winter. When the hanami (flower viewing) custom was said to start in the Nara period (710-794) people admired plum blossomsーand it wasn’t until the Heian period (794-1185) that people switched to gazing at fluttering cherry petals. To be fair, I can’t blame themーFebruary is still cold, and the weather in March-April is more temperate and suited for outdoor activities.

Even so, I still love plum blossoms the most, which why YJ and I headed over to Setagaya Ume Matsuri on the first day it openedーSaturday, February 7th. Unfortunately, since we’ve had a couple of cold spells over the last couple of weeks with guerilla snowfall, only about a quarter of the trees at Hanegi Park were in bloom. It’ll most likely be another week before the whole hill full of roughly 650 plum trees will come to life in a sea of whites and pinks in various shades.

The park has 20 different types of plum trees, and the flower petals vary in number, size, color and shape. We learned also that the trees originally came to Japan from China and Taiwan. They bloom (depending on the type) from December to March.


八重野梅 Yaeyabai type blossom

八重野梅 Yaeyabai type blossom

setagaya ume matsuri 世田谷梅祭り

紅冬至 Koutouji type


setagaya ume matsuri

Ennou blossom えんのう梅の花

plum blossoms

Lonely looking treeーno friends in bloom anywhere nearby!




If you haven’t had your fill of plum blossoms yet, go check out Foreign Sanctuary’s photo essay for even more of these lovely flowers in their native land, Taiwan.

Do you have a favorite flower? Have you ever done hanami?

8 responses to “Setagaya Ume Matsuri 2015 世田谷梅祭り”

  1. Steph says:

    Your pictures are really beautiful! I really love about plum blossoms too but I didn’t know about all this types!
    That is great to know the name of the species your are looking at!
    Steph recently posted…Ota-ku Sento Walk

    • Ri says:

      Yes, they had little signs from hanging from the trees saying what the different names were… Although I don’t really know the significance. XD

  2. Marta says:

    I have been wanting to get a plum blossom tattoo for quite a while… am I too old for a new tattoo? haha!
    Marta recently posted…Sculptures around the lake

  3. Gorgeous! Your photos look pro grade!! Good job~
    Miyagi Mermaid recently posted…The Good News 1:22

    • Ri says:

      Thank you! I’m still getting the hang of my proper camera, and at first I couldn’t get it to focus at all. I almost cried in frustration, haha!! XD

  4. Some great photos! You just got to love flowers, particularly plum blossoms. As for a favorite, I love all flowers (can’t you tell from my blog)! 😉

    You can see them everywhere in Taiwan now, even lining the some sidewalks in the city. I was walking to Ikea last Sunday and I passed a whole row – however, it was so windy that it took forever to get a good picture.

    Thanks for including a link to my post! 🙂
    Constance – Foreign Sanctuary recently posted…My Taiwanese Husband & His Major Present Flop [What NOT to Give a Woman]

    • Ri says:

      I can indeed tell your love for flowersーone of the many reasons I love your blog! 😀
      And it’s always a pleasure to share the flower love. (Hmm, sounding like a hippie now?? XD)

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