Translated by Sandy Lau
Celebrate The Coming Of Spring At The Odawara Plum Festival!
Written by ayu
When thinking of spring in Japan, many associate the season with cherry blossoms. However, plum blossoms bloom earlier and are beautiful flowers! This article introduces the Odawara Plum Festival which is held from February to March in Kanagawa.
Spring at Odawara's Most Famous Plum Spot
When you think of spring in Japan, most people associate the season with sakura (cherry blossoms). However, you can also experience the coming of spring from plums, which bloom way before cherry blossoms. If you’d like to appreciate the beauty of plums, then let’s go the famous plum spot of Odawara, Kanagawa. The Odawara Plum Festival will be held from February 3rd (Sat) to March 4th (Sun), 2018 in Odawara.
The festival has four venues: Soga Plum Grove, Odawara Castle Park, Odawara Flower Garden, and Tsujimura Botanical Garden.
** The details of the Plum Festival published in this article are based on previous editions.
Soga Plum Grove: Our Recommended Venue
Soga Plum Grove is the main venue and can be quite crowded. Approximately 35,000 plum blossoms bloom with Mount Fuji as a backdrop here.
Soga Plum Grove is composed of the three districts of Bessho, Hara, and Nakagawara and are operated with the farmhouses of each district playing central roles. Normally, these lands belong to the farmers, but can be observed only during the period of the Plum Festival when they are opened to the public.
See Events in Bessho
Photo courtesy of: Odawara Tourist Association
The nearest station to Soga Plum Grove is the JR Central Gotemba Line at Shimo-Soga Station. There will be a bus that travels to the front of the venue from the station and you can watch various events if you’re at the largest venue in Bessho. You can view the plum blossoms with Mount Fuji as a backdrop, a view that is loved by all who visit.
During the days that the festival is not held, events such as yabusame (*1) and the Mikan Peel Throwing Tournament are held.
*1 Yabusame: traditional Japanese horseback archery where you shoot your target while riding on a running horse.
Visit Stores in Private Houses in Nakagawara
The private residences near the venue of Nakagawara. Here, citrus fruits such as mandarin oranges harvested in the fields and tableware, bags, and other items handmade by the locals are sold.
Although these are private homes, anyone that is a tourist is able to visit these homes during the period of the Plum Festival and you’ll be able to see houses unique to Japan up close.