Cherry blossoms, which bloom in spring in Japan, started blooming as early as January in Atami.
The plum blossoms at the Atami Plum Orchard are blooming very nicely.
It was cold this year, so the plum blossoms can be enjoyed until mid-March.
The plum trees in this garden are planted deliberately in such steps so that they bloom at different time phases - early, middle and late - so that visitors can enjoy plum flowers longer during the Plum Blossom Festival.
During your visit, you may find trees either not yet in bloom or had passed the blooming phase and wonder, “when is the best time for viewing plum blossoms?”
Most plum trees are middle blooming types; thus, the best plum-blossom viewing is from late January to early February.
Still, unlike cherry blossoms, you cannot expect to view full-bloomed plum trees in endless stretches: so don’t be disappointed!
Most cherry blossoms in Japan can be seen from late March through April.
But since you've come to Japan, don't you want to see cherry blossoms in January and February as well?
Actually, there is a place where you can see cherry blossoms even in January and February.
It is Atami. It takes only one hour from Tokyo by Shinkansen.
It is not as famous as Tokyo or Osaka, but it is very famous among Japanese people, and is a popular tourist destination visited by more than 3 million people a year.
Why is it so popular?
It is because of its mild climate, hot springs, ocean, and seafood.
Atami has early-blooming cherry blossoms called "Atami cherry blossoms".
These early blooming cherry trees can be seen from mid-January. The cherry blossom festival is held from mid to late January every year. Plum blossoms also bloom at this time, so you can be the first in the country (even if you don't go to Okinawa!)
You can see plum and cherry blossoms together.
It is nice to enjoy the hot springs while feeling the early arrival of spring.