The 3 greatest sweet-smelling "Plum" sceneries in Mie

The 3 greatest sweet-smelling
When someone says "Hanami (flower viewing)", most people think of cherry blossoms, but what about the plum flowers that bloom a little earlier?
The round-shaped plum of red white and pink give off a sweet and gentile smell unlike cherry blossoms.
In Mie, there are two popular plum gardens and a shrine famous for its history of plum flowers.
This time I would like to introduce these three places where you can enjoy the plum flowers that bloom in all their glory, spread out under the clear winter sky.

1. Inabe City Agricultural Park

The Inabe City Agricultural park is located on top of a hill in the southern part of Mie, where there is a great view of the Suzuka Mountains. It is the largest plum garden in the Tokai Area, with more than 4,000 plum trees that spread over a vast area of about 8 times that of the Tokyo Dome. It was introduced in a book called "The breathtaking sights in the world I want to see before I die ~ New Japan Volume ~", and it is gaining more popularity.
With the snow topped Suzuka Mountains in the background, the red white and pink plum trees bloom like a patchwork, and the view from the observatory looks like an earthly paradise. This magnificent view is no doubt "instagrammable". You can also take a nice stroll through the plum grove.
The "Plum Festival" is held from mid-February to mid-March around flowering time. At this festival, there are shops where you can buy seedlings of plum, blueberries, roses, and other fruit trees.
【Address】3071 Kanae, Fujiwaracho, Inabe, Mie
【Price】Adults (Middle School and up): 500, Elementary School and under: Free
【Closed】 Open all year round ※The Park golf course and the Farmer's Restaurant Fleur are closed on Wednesdays
【Festival Period】Undecided ※Need to check website
【Access】About 20 minutes by taxi from Sangi Railway Hokusei Line Ageki Station, About 30 minutes from Meishin Expressway Sekigahara IC

2. Suzuka Forest Garden

The Suzuka Forest Garden is an plum garden at the foot of the Suzuka Mountains, that just opened in 2014. It is a research farm created to take over the Japanese traditional horiculture called "Shitate Gijutsu".
With the double-flowered plum tree called the Kureha Shidare at its center, the garden is filled with about 200 weeping plum trees that that were gathered from all over Japan for 10 years.
These elegant weeping plum trees were shaped by a master artisan.
In the garden there are also two trees of over 100 years old that were brought all the way from Kyushu. These two trees are called "Ten-no-Ryu (Dragon of the sky)" and "Chi-no-Ryu (Dragon of the Earth)" are said to be the oldest plum trees in Japan. The magnificent view of the two trees lined up is one that can only be seen in the Suzuka Forest Garden.
The peak of the plum trees are from the early March to mid-March. During this blossoming period the trees are lit up, and you can experience a fantasy-like world.
【Address】151-2 Yamamotocho, Suzuka, Mie
【Period】Mid-February to early March 2018
【Hours】9:00~16:00 (Last entry 15:30)
【Price】Adults (Middle school and up): 500yen ~ 1500yen, Elementary school: half price, Preschool: Free
     ※Prices differ depending on the condition of flowers
【Access】15 minutes by Taxi from JR Kansai Line Kasado Station, About 5 mintes from Higashimeihan Expressway Suzuka IC

3. Yuki-jinja Shrine

The Yuki-jinja Shrine of Tsushi is a famous place for plum trees in Japan. The shrine is dedicated to Yuki Munehiro, who contributed to the restoration of the Kenmu Era under Emperor Godaigo, during the Kamakura Period. It has been in close contact with the local people from a long time ago.
As "Yuki" means to "tie relationships", the shrine is a popular place to receive divine blessing for matchmaking.
In the shrine grounds said to be the best in Japan, there are about 300 weeping plum trees of about 80 different kinds including the red plum, white plum, and the wintersweet.
The plum trees begin to bloom from late January, and the weeping plum reach their peak around late February to mid-March.
There is also a rare plum trellis, and you can enjoy plum flowers that bloom just like wisteria flowers.
When the plum flowers are in full blossom, the "Plum Flower Festival" to pray for the prosperity of family fortune and good health is held. During this time, shops open up in the shrine grounds, and at the teahouse you can enjoy the plum blossoms while having plum tea and plum sweets.
【Address】2341 Fujikata, Tsushi, Mie
【Shrine Garden Entrance Fee】Adult (Highschool and up): 500 yen, Elementary and middle schoolers: 200 yen ※There is fee only when the Plum Festival held
【Access】About 14 minutes by the Mie Kotsu Bus to Yonezu from JR Tsu Station or Subway Tsu Station, get off bus at "Yuki-jinja-mae"
So here are the popular plum blossom spots in Mie. As there are many songs that sing about plum blossoms in the "Manyoshu", the oldest existing Japanese anthology, and the "Hyakunin Isshu", a Japanese anthology of 100 songs by 100 poets, during the Nara period people would go to view plum blossoms instead of cherry blossoms. How about going out to see the dignified plum blossoms in the cold weather to feel the coming of Spring a little earlier?

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