Plum Blossoms Lit Up At Night

The Yushima Shrine is famous for its plum blossoms, and until the end of February, you can see them lit up at night! Even if you’re a cherry blossom loyalist (in which case I sentence you to visiting all my favorite plum tree gardens and upgrading your flower preferences JUST SAYIN’) it’s a grand opportunity to see this gorgeous wooden shrine glowing against the night sky.

But they do have lovely plum trees, and a festival that’s on every weekend until the end of the month, including monkey shows and such. Here are a few photos to show you how extraordinary the flowers look when lit up at twilight:

At 5:30 it’s still pretty light out, but the spotlights are already giving the blossoms a warm tint against the sky

As dusk falls, the flowers and the sky strike a perfect balance

As twilight deepens, these backlit pink ones look like they’re glowing

By the end of the magic hour, the spotlights pick up the hint of green still on these fresh blooms

The Yushima Shrine is the only place I know of that lights their blossoms at night, but there are plenty of places around Tokyo to feast your eyes on the trees in full bloom and breathe in their heavenly fragrance. My favorite places are here, with maps.

The trees and shrine buildings at the Yushima Shrine are lit up every night until 19:30, through March 8, 2019.

When not doing contortions trying to get pictures of plum flowers, Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo

In the wake of a deadly earthquake, fans erupt in a frenzy of mourning when it’s discovered that their favorite pop star is among the dead. But when Detective Kenji Nakamura is sent to investigate a death at a local shrine, he finds evidence that suggests the impossible: How could the head priest have been murdered by…read more