The Plum Blossoms of Yoshino Baigo, Ome

sarah straus plum blossomsAs mentioned in the comment below, this place is closed until further notice.
One famous spot for seeing Japan’s plum blossoms is right near Yokota Air Base, in Ome City. About 25,000 trees, spanning a collection of 100 different varieties, blossom in the town of Yoshino Baigo in Ome City, located on the Tama River. The town is famous for a plum tree park, spread out over a small valley that Yoshino Baigo by Sarah Strausbecomes an theater of color when the blooming starts. (“Baigo” means “plum garden.”) Yoshino Baigo has a festival to celebrate this season with a number of booths selling typical Japanese festival foods and regional crafts. This festival runs from late February throughout the month of March. For 2013 the dates are Feb 23 – March 31, Saturdays and Sundays.  There’s a special day of celebration on a mid-March Sunday, with parades and traditional dancing. For 2013 this day is Sunday, March 17, with a postpone date of March 24.   Check here for more information about the festival location and time: http://www.omekanko.gr.jp/ume/matsuri.htm.  Admission to the park: ¥200. Well-behaved dogs are allowed on leash.   Yoshino Baigo (Yoshino Plum Park). GPS: 35.7865, 139.2192. – photos by Sarah Straus, March 2013.
TRAIN DIRECTIONS: Take the Ome Line train from Fussa to Hinatawada. (Most trains terminate at Ome and you have to transfer to go the remaining two stops. ) Turn right out of the station and turn left to cross the bridge over the Tama River. You are in Yoshino as soon as you cross the bridge. This main street is where the festival is held. To get to Plum Park, continue on the street until you reach a T-intersection. Turn left and look across the street for a tiny paved street on the right-hand side of the road. From the station, through town and up to the park is a walk of only about 1km.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS: Parking is scarce on the main festival day and are also limited at other times. All parking is pay parking in private lots, typically ¥500 to ¥1000. At the Terminal Gate, set your odometer to zero and turn right out of the gate onto Route 16. Stay right to go under the overpass. Turn left onto Ome Kaido (Route 5) at 2.8km. (Signposted Hakonegasakinishi Intersection. McDonalds is on far left corner.) and continue on Ome Kaido until you reach Hinatawada, in about 20 to 30 minutes. (Near Higashi-Ome station, 8km, the road jogs to the left, and at 10km it jogs right. If you find that you end up on Okutama Kaido, continue in the same general direction (WNW) and the road will intersect with Kyu Ome Kaido. Turn left and continue, you are now back on Ome Kaido.) Watch for the Hinatawada train station on your right. It is above the road level and is painted yellow. Turn left across the first bridge over the Tama River after the train station. You are now in Yoshino. (See below map for alternate directions).


View

Alternate directions: Turn right out of the Fussa Gate onto Route 16.  Turn left onto Route 5.  Take Route 5 all the way to the very end where it dead-ends into Route 411.  Turn left onto Route 411.  Turn right onto Route 45.  Route 45 follows along the south side of the river.  You will drive right through Yoshino at 3 kilometers – watch for the hanging lanterns.  Yoshino Baigo is to the left.  If you cut left and follow the narrow roads you’ll find many people selling parking in their own private driveways for ¥500. – Alternate directions by Sarah Straus, March 2013.

3 Responses to The Plum Blossoms of Yoshino Baigo, Ome

  1. We went today for the festival. Although the festival was fun, there were barely any trees even close to blooming! The locals anticipate peak bloom for plum blossoms as March 28 and April 11 for Cherry Blossoms. But I was glad to go as the parades were fun and we got to get out and about on a weekend!

  2. Jessica Brooks

    Latest update from a local Japanese friend is that this park is closed until further notice. The trees all caught a fungus that killed them. In 2014 they closed the park and ripped out all the trees and next year they are planning to plant new ones. It will be nearly 10 years before anything will be nearly as impressive as what it once was.

  3. Don’t know why so many sites continue to advertise this. As stated by Jessica, the plum trees are gone, nothing but a clear cut hillside. Don’t waste your day going there.

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