Hey babe, I know you just got back from the states and are still on California time, but we’re going to drive 2 hrs to see these trees blooming.
We had our doubts as we looked at the blue dot plodding along on our google maps route. 10 minutes to go and we had seen only a handful of blooming trees on the side of the road. Then, we started passing the piles of snow that still hadn’t melted. “At least it was a pretty drive” I said with a smile as he gave me the “you drove me out here for this… look.” And then I got a small glimpse of the hillside as we were driving around for parking. Blankets of pink and white and yellow. And then I got giddy. Trying to find any real time information in English on Japanese sites is very difficult. I knew it was a late bloom this year for both the plum blossoms and cherry blossoms, but really I had no idea what to expect. They were almost at peak bloom. I’d guess another week and it will be a breathtaking carpet of colors. Sadly the thousands of blooming trees will be cut down in April to kill off the plum pox virus they’ve all contracted. I think, if the information I found in English was reliable, the hillside will sit bare for a few years before they replant and it will be about 10 years before they return to their splendor.
If you would like to visit them this year, search for the Toritsu Tenman Park in your google maps near the town of Oume. This will put you on the right road. We parked at a small business on the main road and walked about 5 minutes up the hill. There isn’t much parking on the road that brings you up to the park and it’s narrow and filled with people walking. As you are walking up the hill the park will be on your left. You won’t be able to miss the flowering trees and fragrance. Cost to get into the park is 200yen. I don’t know the age cut-off for children. My 6 and 3 year olds were free. I believe they have a festival going on every weekend through the end of March. We saw vendor tables lined up the hill going up.