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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.

The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon

For three hundred years, a missing tea bowl passes from one fortune-seeker to the next, altering the lives of all who possess it…read more

“A fascinating mix of history and mystery.” —Booklist

Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly newsletter Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

8 thoughts on “Plum Blossoms Lit Up At Night Leave a comment

    • You always find such great temples and shrines, I bet a bunch of them have excellent plum gardens! The Ten-mangu/Tenjin shrines and the Nichiren temples are usually good for a few choice trees. I’m hoping you do come in the winter sometime, because I want to see what you dig up, and read about the historical stuff I always miss, but you seem to winkle out! ^^;;.

  1. HI Jonelle, so glad that you captured these blossoms at different stages of light, the results are magical. It’s often these simple things that are far more satisfying and enjoyable rather than big exciting tourist attractions. I will never tire of the nature in Japan 🙂

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