The snow has melted and there’s talk of some early spring sunshine this weekend – perfect conditions for plum blossom viewing. With plum and apricot trees approaching full flower, the celebratory festivals will be at their peak – this is the weekend to catch the blooms before they’re gone.
While even your local park will probably be a shade of pink, if you’re keen on making a proper event of it, you might want to check out some of our recommendations. As always, Yushima Tenjin is first on our list, followed closely by Ushi Tenjin Kitano Shrine. Hanegi Park, Shiba Park, Jindai Botanical Garden and Koishikawa Korakuen are also well worth a stroll (with camera and tripod in tow).
If you’re feeling quirky and want to do something random, hop on a special “soba train” to Mt Takao for celebrations of all things buckwheat at Yakuoin Temple on Saturday. There are no extra fees for riding the noodle train, but you’ve got to catch it at either 9.37am from Oshima Station, or 10.02 from Shinsen Shinjuku Station. Miss it and miss out on free souvenir chopsticks and toothpicks.
If that’s not enough, a visit to the Ukiyo-e (woodblock art) exhibition at the Edo Tokyo Museum should satisfy your arty side, while the short film collection of Women in the Spotlight in Yokohama is a laid-back and cheap way to get your media fix.
Tokyo flea markets are a great for bargain-hunting, pick up a new kimono or snag a new book on a shoestring!