People throughout the world are familiar with the famous Japanese cherry blossoms.
Before the cherry blossoms emerge, however, another beautiful tree graces the island of Japan. Mid-February is the start of spring and the beginning of the plum blossom season.
The Japanese plum tree (梅-ume) begin to bloom, if the weather stays fine, in the middle of January, coming to full bloom in the middle of February. From the middle of February to the middle of March is the perfect time to enjoy plum blossom viewing.
The flowers of the plum tree have colors in varying shades of white, pink, and red.
Unlike cherry blossoms they have a distinct, strong, sweet fragrance.
Plum trees come in many varieties, many of which were cultivated by humans over the centuries. Most plum blossoms have five petals and range in color from white to dark pink. Some varieties have more than five petals (八重梅 – yaeume) and weeping branches (枝垂れ梅 – shidareume).
In the language of flowers (花言葉- hanakotoba), the plum symbolizes fidelity, beauty and longevity as well as keeping a promise. The plum tree enjoys similar symbolism in many Asian cultures.
Furthermore, plum flower is the official flower and symbol of Fukuoka Prefecture. The prefectures flag consist of a white plum flower emblem on light blue field.
There are dozens of plum festivals held in Fukuoka and the area around the city. If you need more information on current plum festivals, contact us via Facebook or Twitter.
Plum Blossom Spots
・Dazaifu Tenmangu (太宰府天満宮)
・Maizuru Koen (舞鶴公園) close to Ohori Koen – also famous for cherry blossoms.
・Kofuji Bairin (小富士梅林) additional to the beautiful plums blossoms, you can also enjoy a fine view of the coastline in Itoshima.