44th Annual Mt. Tsukuba Plum Festival

When: February 25th – March 20th, 2017
Where: Tsukuba and the Mt. Tsukuba Plum Forest    

Video of 2013 Festival

20170225_tsukubaumematsuri

Tsukuba’s plum tree forest sits at around 250m above sea level, and from among the trees you can gaze out upon Tsukuba City, and even spot Mt. Fuji and Tokyo Sky Tree in the distance. The Mt. Tsukuba Plum Festival is unique in offering the chance to enjoy such a splendid view while walking amongst the red, pink, and white blossoms.

On weekends and public holidays you can revel in the beauty of the plum blossoms while keeping toasty sitting by an open hearth from 10am to 3pm at the Plum Forest Plum Viewing Square (umebayashi kanbai hiroba). Other activities held every day during the festival include a treasure hunt for a golden toad around Mt. Tsukuba and workshops for making pens from plum tree branches (100 yen to participate) and toasted sandwiches (400 yen to participate) at Forest Adventure Tsukuba.

Access: 40 minutes via the Mt. Tsukuba Shuttle Bus from Tsukuba Center Mt. Tsukuba Shuttle Bus Stop (next to bus stop no.1) outside the A3 and A4 TX Tsukuba Station exits (bus schedule). Get off at Tsukuba-san Jinja Iriguchi (筑波山神社入り口)

Limited Time Plum-themed Dishes

Throughout the festival, stores around Tsukuba will sell a variety of plum-themed dishes for you to try. Get in quick, as some places only offer a limited number of the dish per day!

Meals

Kandaya (Tsukuba-shi Tsukuba 722)
Tsukuba Akane Chicken and Plum Mayonnaise Rice Bowl (1000 yen)

20170225_tsukubaumematsuri01

Ishihama (Tsukuba-shi Tsukuba 721)
Plum Rice and Kenchin Soup (root vegetable soup) (850 yen)

20170225_tsukubaumematsuri02

Murasaki (Tsukuba-shi Tsukuba 753)
Plum Tororo (shaved yam) Soba/Udon (980 yen)

20170225_tsukubaumematsuri03

Mt. Tsukuba Drive In (Tsukuba-shi Tsukuba 1233-8)
Plum Udon/Soba (780 yen)

20170225_tsukubaumematsuri04

Hitachino (Tsukuba-shi Usui 2103-5 Kazekaeshi Ridge)
Marinated Hitachi-wagyu Beef on Rice (with plum stock) (2160 yen)

20170225_tsukubaumematsuri05

Tsutsujigaoka Rest House (Tsutsujigaoka Ropeway Station)
Natto & Pork Cutlet Meal (1050 yen)

20170225_tsukubaumematsuri06

Mt. Tsukuba Keisei Hotel (Tsutsujigaoka Ropeway Station)
Fragrant Plum Shokado Bento (2160 yen)
An extravagant bento box including stewed yellowtail with radish, bamboo, and plum-shaped carrot, Tsukuba Biton pork-wrapped asparagus with plum sauce, fried and battered anglerfish with plum, bamboo kamameshi (rice cooked with other ingredients in a pot) and local strawberries from the Yasato area.

20170225_tsukubaumematsuri07

Tsukuzen (Tsukuba-shi Numata 1441-1)
Plum Gozen (1620 yen)
A plum-filled meal including plum inari sushi made from rice from Yumeda Farm located at the foot of Mt. Tsukuba, plum konnyaku, pickled plum tempura, side dishes made from local vegetables, and Hitachi Aki Soba.

20170225_tsukubaumematsuri08

Oshokujidokoro Aoki (Tsukuba-shi Tsukuba 829-1)
Plum and Perilla Sushi with Wild Vegetable Soba (1500 yen)

20170225_tsukubaumematsuri09

Tsukuba Ham (Tsukuba-shi Hiratsuka 383)
Pork Roast Steak and Plum Beurre Composé (2484 yen)

20170225_tsukubaumematsuri10

Chicken Paitan Ramen Obiya (Tsukuba-shi Kaname 137-3)
Spicy Red Yuzu and Shaved Plum Ramen (850 yen)

20170225_tsukubaumematsuri11
Sweets

Kamiya Seika (Umaimon Dokoro in the Mt. Tsukuba Plum Forest)
Plum Yōkan (100 yen)

20170225_tsukubaumematsuri12

Daiichiya (Umaimon Dokoro in the Mt. Tsukuba Plum Forest)
Plum Yōkan with a Stewed Plum (450 yen)

20170225_tsukubaumematsuri13

Sugimotoya (Umaimon Dokoro in the Mt. Tsukuba Plum Forest)
Mt. Tsukuba-yaki Pastry with Plum-flavoured Filling (200 yen)

20170225_tsukubaumematsuri14

Tsukuba Yakon (Mt. Tsukuba Plum Forest Rest Area and Mt. Tsukuba Omotenashi Kan)
Plum Chiffon Cake made with rice flour (190 yen)

20170225_tsukubaumematsuri15

Ishihama (Tsukuba-shi Tsukuba 721)
Plum Anmitsu (650 yen)

20170225_tsukubaumematsuri16

Tsukuba Ham Shizen Aji Kōbō (Tsukuba-shi Hiratsuka 383)
Plum Tart Set (702 yen)

20170225_tsukubaumematsuri17

Cable Car Miyawaki Store (Next to Mt. Tsukuba Shrine)/Tsutsujigaoka Rest House (at the ropeway station)
Red Plum Soft Serve Ice Cream (320 yen)

20170225_tsukubaumematsuri18

Mt. Tsukuba Drive In (Tsukuba-shi Tsukuba 1233-8)
Plum Soft Serve Ice Cream (350 yen)

20170225_tsukubaumematsuri19

121st Annual Mito Plum Festival

When: February 18th – March 31st
Where: Kairakuen and the Kodokan, Mito

20170218_umematsuri02

Access via Public Transport
Kairakuen: Take a bus heading to Kairakuen from Bus Stop 4 or 6 on the north side of Mito Station (see map here http://www.koen.pref.ibaraki.jp/foreign_language/en/access_info/index.html)
Kodokan: 8 minutes’ walk north of Mito Station (see map here: http://www.koen.pref.ibaraki.jp/park/kodokan06.html)

Admission
Kairakuen: Free
Kobuntei: Adults 200 yen, junior high school and younger 100 yen
Kodokan: Adults 200 yen, junior high school and younger 100 yen, over 70 free

Opening Hours
Kairakuen: 6am – 7pm (7am to 6pm until February 19th)
Kobuntei: 9am – 5pm (9am – 4:30pm until February 19th)
Kodokan: 9am – 5pm (9am – 4:30pm until February 19th)

20170218_umematsuri03

The Plum Blossoms of Kairakuen

There are approximately 100 varieties of plum tree growing in Kairakuen, and they all bloom at different times. Early blooming varieties (hayazaki) begin around mid-January to mid-February, mid-season blooming varieties (nakazaki) around early February to mid-March, and late blooming varieties (osozaki) around early March to early April. These times can vary every year though, depending on the climate.

Of the 3000 plum trees in Kairakuen, only around half of them can be said to be of a particular variety (the other half being mixes of a number of varieties resulting in an unnamed variety). The most common among those with clear names is the Shirakaga variety, of which there are nearly 450 trees. The next most common is the Tōjibai, with 150 trees, followed by Yaekankō, with 130 trees.

Although the trees bloom roughly as described above, they are greatly affected by weather and precipitation, so it is not an exact timeline. This is why you should visit Kairakuen several times to stroll around the park and appreciate the many forms of the plum blossoms.

Early Blooming Varieties (Mid-January to Mid-February)

The Yaekankō, Shironaniwa, Yaetōji, and Rekkōbai varieties are representative of the early blooming plum tree varieties, and can be found scattered around Kairakuen. In particular, the Yaekankō in the East-West Plum Forest near the East Gate and the Shironaniwa by the Onari Gate are well known and among the first to bloom. Searching for the few flowers that have blossomed among the majority that are still in their bud forms is one of the most enjoyable things to do during the early blooming season.

Mid-season Blooming Varieties (Late February to Mid-March)

The single-petaled Tsukikage with its distinct silhouette and the soft and fluffy Tora-no-o are exemplary of the mid-season blooming varieties. They can be found scattered around the park in the Western Plum Forest and other locations, and are known for their fragrance and colour. It is when the mid-season varieties are in bloom that you can fully feel the coming of spring and enjoy the grand sight of many plum trees in full bloom.

Late Blooming Varieties (Early March to Early April)

The Shirakaga, Kasugano, and Kōnanshomu varieties are representative of late blooming plum trees. In particular Shirakaga trees can be seen all around the park. They bloom slowly and decorate the end of the plum blossom season. The end of the season is when you should savour the last of the blossoms before they are gone.

Precautions against the Spread of Avian Influenza (from the Mito Municipal Government website)

In December 2016, a case of avian influenza was discovered in a wild bird at Lake Senba, which is located beside Kairakuen. As a result, precautions are being taken at Lake Senba to prevent the spread of avian influenza.

People who do not have any particular contact with birds in their everyday lives are not thought to be at risk of contracting the virus, so there is no need to worry excessively. Please remain calm and take action based on information from official sources. We ask for your cooperation in the following:

1. There is a possibly of the virus spreading via bird droppings becoming stuck to people’s shoes, so if you step on bird droppings around Lake Senba please use the calcium hydroxide that has been provided on the jogging course to disinfect your shoes. You can do so simply by stepping into the box.

Caution:

  • Calcium hydroxide is a powerful alkaline, so please avoid direct contact with your skin
  • People with multiple chemical sensitivity should take special care
  • If the calcium hydroxide gets on your skin, wash the affected area thoroughly
  • If it gets in your eye, wash it out with clean water and consult a doctor immediately
  • If ingested, wash your mouth out and consult a doctor immediately

2. Take the following actions to prevent the spread of avian influenza:

  • Keep away from the birds
  • Do not feed the birds
  • If you find a dead bird, contact the Parks and Green Space Division (公園緑地課) immediately
  • Take care not to step in bird droppings
  • Do not ride your bike in the park
  • Do not fish or play around bodies of water

Inquiries (Japanese only)
Parks and Green Space Division, Mito Municipal Government (029-224-1111)
Mito Parks Association (029-244-2895)

Events

20170218_umematsuri

Major Events

4th Annual National Umeshu Festival in Mito

When: March 3rd – 5th, 10am – 4pm (until 3pm on March 5th)
Where: Tokiwa Shrine Grounds

At the National Umeshu Festival you will have the opportunity to sample and compare umeshu from Hokkaido all the way down to Okinawa. You can also enjoy the coupling of umeshu with a variety of dishes and umeshu cocktails.

Night Plum Festival

When:
Kodokan – March 4th, 6 – 9pm
Kairakuen – March 11, 6 – 9pm

The Night Plum Festival will feature candle displays, showing off the beauty of the plum trees in a different light. The festival finale will feature Mito fireworks.

Event Schedule

Presenting of Plum Festival Opening Memorial Gifts
When: February 18h, 9am onwards
Where: Kairakuen East Gate

Mito-chan Birthday Party
When: February 18th – 19st, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Outdoor Tea Ceremony by High School Students (Taisei Girls’ High School)
When: February 25th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Outdoor Tea Ceremony (Sekishū-ryu Style)
When: February 26th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Taya Staff Technique Demonstration
When: February 26th, 10:30 – 11:30am
Where: The Kodokan Taishijō

Mito Hina-nagashi (Hitachi Washi Doll Association)
When: February 26th, 11am – 12pm
Where: Kairakuen Togyokusen Spring

Kids’ Hina-matsuri
When: February 26th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Outdoor Tea Ceremony by High School Students (Tokiwa University High School)
When: March 4th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Martial Arts Demonstration (Mito Tobukan/ Hōzōin-ryū)
When: March 4th, 10 – 12:00pm
Where: The Kodokan Taishijō

Goken Kōbai Hina-nagashi (Five Town Community)
When: March 4th, 11am – 12pm
Where: Kairakuen Togyokusen Spring

Biwa Performance
When: March 4th, 1 – 1:30pm
Where: Kodokan Seicho

70th Annual Photography Session and Photo Contest
When: March 5th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Plum Forest, Miharashi Hiroba, and other locations

Outdoor Tea Ceremony (Enshū-ryu Style)
When: March 5th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Plum Viewing Kimono Day
When: 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Sword and Poetry Dancing (Ibaraki Ginei Kenshibu Federation)
When: March 11th, 10:30 – 11:30am
Where: Kodokan Taishijō

Outdoor Tea Ceremony (Edosenke)
When: March 12th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairaikuen Miharashi Hiroba

Outdoor Tea Ceremony by High School Students (Sakuranomaki High School)
When: March 18th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Kodokan Open Lecture
When: March 18th, 1:30 – 3pm (Mito Shigaku Kensankai Yoshida Juku)
Where: Kodokan Seicho

Outdoor Tea Ceremony (Urasenke)
When: March 19th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

71st Annual Plum Viewing Haiku Contest (Hitachino)
When: March 19th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Ibaraki Prefectural Youth Hall

Outdoor Tea Ceremony by High School Students (Suijo High School)
When: March 25th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Outdoor Tea Ceremony (Omotesenke)
When: March 26th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

Plum Viewing Entertainment Festival
When: March 26th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Miharashi Hiroba

43rd Annual Mt. Tsukuba Plum Festival

When: February 20th – March 21st
Where: Tsukuba and the Mt. Tsukuba Plum Forest
Video

Tsukuba’s plum tree forest sits at around 250m above sea level, and from among the trees you can gaze out upon Tsukuba City, and even spot Mt. Fuji and Tokyo Sky Tree in the distance. The Mt. Tsukuba Plum Festival is unique in offering the chance to enjoy such a splendid view while walking amongst the red, pink, and white blossoms.

Every day during the festival there will be free plum tea and performances by gama no aburauri (a spruiker from the Edo period who would give lively performances to sell bulrush oil, which was used to treat wounds. It is now a famous local product in the Tsukuba area, particularly on Mt. Tsukuba). On weekends there will also be folk entertainment.

On Saturdays during the festival, there will be a pottery making workshop at the Mt. Tsukuba Plum Forest kiln. It costs 1500 yen to participate, with a separate fee to have the completed piece posted to you afterwards.

Throughout the festival stores around Tsukuba will sell a variety of plum-themed dishes for you to try.

120th Annual Mito Plum Festival

When: February 20th – March 31st
Where: Kairakuen and the Kodokan, Mito

Access via Public Transport
Kairakuen: Take a bus heading to Kairakuen from Bus Stop 4 or 6 on the north side of Mito Station (see map here)
Kodokan: 8 minutes’ walk north of Mito Station (see map here)

Admission
Kairakuen: Free
Kobuntei: Adults 200 yen, junior high school and younger 100 yen
Kodokan: Adults 200 yen, junior high school and younger 100 yen, over 70 free

Opening Hours
Kairakuen: 6am – 7pm (7am to 6pm until February 19th. Open until 9pm for the illuminations from March 4th – 21st
Kobuntei: 9am – 5pm (Open until 6pm on weekdays, Sundays, and public holidays and 8pm on Saturdays during the illuminations from March 4th – 21st)
Kodokan: 9am – 5pm (9am – 4:30pm until February 19th)

The Plum Blossoms of Kairakuen

There are approximately 100 varieties of plum tree growing in Kairakuen, and they all bloom at different times. Early blooming varieties (hayazaki) begin blooming from around mid-January to mid-February, mid-season blooming varieties (nakazaki) bloom from early February to mid-March, and late blooming varieties (osozaki) bloom from early March to early April. These times can vary every year though, depending on the climate.

Of the 3000 plum trees in Kairakuen, only about half of them can be said to be of a particular variety (the other half being mixes of a number of varieties resulting in an unnamed variety). The most common among those with clear names is the Shirokaga variety, of which there are nearly 450 trees. The next most common is the Tōjibai, with 150 trees, followed by Yaekankō, with 130 trees.

Although the trees bloom roughly as described above, they are greatly affected by weather and precipitation, so it is not an exact timeline. This is why you should visit Kairakuen several times to stroll around the park and appreciate the many forms of the plum blossoms.

Early Blooming Varieties (Mid-January to Mid-February)

The Yaekankō, Shironaniwa, Yaetōji, and Rekkōbai varieties are representative of the early blooming plum tree varieties, and can be found scattered around Kairakuen. In particular, the Yaekankō in the East-West Plum Forest near the East Gate and the Shironaniwa by the Onari Gate are well known and among the first to bloom. Searching for the few flowers that have blossomed among the majority that are still in their bud forms is one of the most enjoyable things to do during the early blooming season.

Mid-season Blooming Varieties (Late February to Mid-March)

The single-petaled Tsukikage, with its distinct silhouette and the soft and fluffy Tora-no-o are exemplary of the mid-season blooming varieties. They can be found scattered around the park in the Western Plum Forest and other locations, and are known for their fragrance and colour. It is when the mid-season varieties are in bloom that you can fully feel the coming of spring and enjoy the grand sight of many plum trees in full bloom.

Late Blooming Varieties (Early March to Early April)

The Shirokaga, Kasugano, and Kōnanshomu varieties are representative of late blooming plum trees. In particular Shirokaga trees can be seen all around the park. They bloom slowly and decorate the end of the plum blossom season. The end of the season is when you should savour the last of the blossoms before they are gone.

Events

Major Events

4th Annual National Umeshu Festival in Mito

When: March 4th – 6th, 10am – 4pm (until 3pm on March 6th)
Where: Tokiwa Shrine Grounds

At the National Umeshu Festival you will have the opportunity to sample and compare umeshu from Hokkaido all the way down to Okinawa. You can also enjoy the coupling of umeshu with a variety of dishes and umeshu cocktails.

Night Plum Festival

When:
Kodokan – March 5th, 6 – 9pm
Kairakuen – March 12, 6 – 9pm

The Night Plum Festival will feature candle displays, showing off the beauty of the plum trees in a different light. The festival finale will feature Mito fireworks.

Event Schedule

Presenting of Plum Festival Opening Memorial Gifts
When: February 20th, 9am onwards
Where: Kairakuen East Gate

Mito-chan Birthday Party
When: February 20th – 21st, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen View Square

New Plum Blossom Viewing Festival
When: February 26th, 6 – 8pm
Where: Sannomaru Hotel

Plum Blossom Viewing and Shogi Festival
When: February 27th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen View Square

World Othello Competition Pre-event: Othello in Kairakuen
When: February 27th 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen View Square

Outdoor Tea Ceremony (Sekishū-ryu Style)
When: February 28th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen View Square

Taya Staff Technique Demonstration
When: February 28th, 10:30 – 11:30am
Where: The Kodokan Taishijō

Mito Hina-nagashi (Hitachi Washi Doll Association)
When: February 28th, 11am – 12pm
Where: Kairakuen Togyokusen Spring

Outdoor Tea Ceremony by High School Students (Tokiwa University High School)
When: March 4th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen View Square

Martial Arts Demonstration
When: March 5th, 10 – 11:30am
Where: The Kodokan Taishijō

Goken Kōbai Hina-nagashi (Five Town Community)
When: March 5th, 11am – 12pm
Where: Kairakuen Togyokusen Spring

69th Annual Photography Session and Photo Contest
When: March 6th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen Plum Forest, View Square, and other locations

Outdoor Tea Ceremony (Edosenke)
When: March 6th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairaikuen View Square

Poetry Recital
When: March 6th, 10:30 – 11:30am
Where: Kodokan Taishijō

Biwa Performance
When: March 6th, 11:30am – 12pm
Where: Kodokan Seicho

Kodokan Open Lecture
When: March 12th, 1:30 – 3pm
Where: Kodokan Seicho

Gathering of Past Plum Maidens and Plum Ambassadors
When: March 13th, 10am – 12pm
Where: Kairakuen View Square and other locations

Outdoor Tea Ceremony (Urasenke)
When: March 13th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen View Square

Outdoor Tea Ceremony by High School Students (Taisei Girls’ High School)
When: March 19th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen View Square

Komon’s Kitchen
When: March 19th, 10am – 4pm
Where: By the Mito Komon Statue near Lake Senba

Outdoor Tea Ceremony (Omotesenke)
When: March 20th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen View Square

70th Annual Plum Viewing Haiku Contest
When: March 20th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Ibaraki Prefectural Youth Hall

Outdoor Tea Ceremony by High School Students (Suijo High School)
When: March 26th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen View Square

8 Views of Mito Gourmet Ride
When: March 26th
Details

Plum Viewing Entertainment Festival
When: March 27th, 10am – 3pm
Where: Kairakuen View Square

118th Annual Mito Plum Festival

Where: Kairakuen Park, Kodokan Hall Park
When: Thursday, February 20th – Monday, March 31st 2014

“Spring in Mito starts with plum blossoms…”
The 118th Annual Mito Plum Festival will take place at Kairakuen Park and Kodokan Hall Park between February 20th and March 31st, 2014. Kairakuen Park boasts around 3,000 trees of 100 types of plums, and Kodokan Hall Park about 800 trees of 60 types of plums that will all be in bloom throughout the festival.

Besides being able to enjoy the wonderful plum blossoms, various events will take place nearly every Saturday and Sunday inside Kairakuen Park. Some events include tea ceremonies, Japanese drum performances, and much much more! Spring is the season when Mito shines! You won’t want to miss out on all the beauty and fun that the festival has to offer!

List of Events
■ Sunday, February 23rd
○All Japan High School Cultural Festival 2014 PR Event
Kairakuen Park, 10am
Japanese music, Kenshibu, Calligraphy

■    Saturday, March 1st
○    Mito-chan Birthday Party
Kariakuen Park, 10am

■    Saturday, March 2nd
○    Open Air Tea Ceremony
Kairakuen Park, 10am
○    Doll Festival Display
Kairakuen Park, 11am

■    Saturday, March 8th
○    Open-air Tea Ceremony (run by high school students)
Kairakuen Park, 10am
○    Doll Festival Display
Kairakuen Park, 10:30am

■    Sunday, March 9th
○    67th Annual Photo Shoot and Photo Contest
Kairakuen Park, 10am
○    Open-air Tea Ceremony
Kairakuen Park, 10am

■    Saturday, March 15th
○    Open-air Tea Ceremony (run by high school students)
Kairakuen Park, 10am
○    9th Annual Night Plum Festival
Kairakuen Park, 6pm

■    Sunday, March 16th
○    Open-air Tea Ceremony
Kairakuen Park, 10am
○    Bustle of the Plum Forest – Japanese Drums and Dance
Kairakuen Park, 11am and 1pm
○    68th Annual Haiku (Japanese Poem) Contest
Ibaraki Prefectural Youth Hall, 10am

■    Saturday, March 22nd
○ Open-air Tea Ceremony (run by high school students)
Kairakuen Park, 10am

■    Sunday, March 23rd
○ Open-air Tea Ceremony
Kairakuen Park, 10am

■    Sunday, March 30th
○    Mito Komon Festival Japanese Drum Performance
Kairakuen Park, 11am and 1pm