It’s winter in Japan, and although the frigid temperatures and gloomy skies keep many inside, there is still plenty of beauty throughout the country. One example- plum blossoms! These trees are quite similar to the more famous cherry blossom, but draw less crowds as there aren’t nearly as many customs surrounding them. However, one advantage of plum blossoms is that they are in bloom for much longer than cherry blossoms. Plum blossoms can be enjoyed for over a month, whereas cherry blossoms typically last just over a week depending on the area and weather.
One of the most famous places to enjoy plum blossoms in Kansai is at the aptly named Osaka Castle Plum Blossom Grove. I visited on a unusually warm Sunday in February, and the plum blossoms were about half in bloom.
There are hundreds of plum blossoms surrounding the east side of the castle, with a majority of the trees being pink or white. There are also a few red ones as well, with over a hundred different varieties of plum blossoms in total. Many tourists crowded the areas near the main entrances, but seemed to wander off towards the castle as I went further into the grove.
It was quite beautiful seeing the castle through the blossoms or appear above the trees. Of course, many people were trying to get the best shot of this view.
While walking up to the castle, you can take a look at most of the plum grove. The red blossoms really stand out amongst the lighter pink and white.
Since I was already nearby, I decided to visit the castle itself. Being a Sunday, it was quite crowded! I definitely recommend visiting on a weekday if you can.
This was my first time visiting the castle in the winter, and it seems like the castle park in’t very pretty in this season.
But of course, the castle itself remains beautiful no matter the season!