Local Secret: Plum Tree Valley in Okurayama

While sakura usually steal the show in spring, I personally have a soft spot for the hardier, brighter ume (plum trees).

Some trees are covered in pinkish-white blossoms, so that they resemble sakura, however ume can also be shockingly fuchsia or a deep lacquer red.

Bairin (plum tree groves) are not very common, but are nonetheless the perfect place to go and spend a sunny afternoon in early March.

A somewhat secret bairin is located in Okurayama, in a little valley concealed within a park near the station. During peak times there are exhibitions of traditional Japanese music and food stalls available.

Park yourself under your favorite tree, with a blanket and a hot cup of tea, and enjoy the delicate smell of the flowers.

How to Get There

Take the Toyoko line towards Motomachi Chukagai, exiting at Okurayama station (please note, express trains do not stop at the station).

Turn right exiting the station, and go directly up the hill. I recommend stopping by the Totzen bakery as you climb, for a cup of coffee and some of their tasty sweets to-go.

Entering the park you will see an eccentric Greek-influenced building. Keep walking past it, until you reach the top of the bairin valley.

by Chiara

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