Climbing Mount Takao in autumn (or perhaps at cherry blossom time) is an extremely popular activity in the Tokyo area for both locals and visitors, but Takao's plum blossom trail is less well known.
I love plum blossom, so when I heard about the plum blossom trail I took the train to Takao Station one weekend in mid March. From the station we headed west into a rural looking area where there are four separate plum groves planted with some 10,000 plum trees. The blossom was every shade from pink to red, and of course white as well. One reason I love plum blossom is that it smells so wonderful, and it was a delight to wander through the trees breathing in the exquisite fragrance.
The trail was an easy walk of 4.5 kilometers suitable for any age, and ended up at Kogesawa Plum Grove, a hill planted with 1,400 plum trees. Narrow paths zigzagged up the hill through the blossoms. People were picnicking and enjoying the pleasant weather. Kogesawa Plum Grove is only open at the weekend, and it was the most beautiful site, so Saturday and Sunday are the best days to go.
There are regular buses if you don't want to walk, or if you only want to walk one way.
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I fell in love with Japan long before I came here in 2003 to teach English, and it has proved to be a lasting romance. I love the history, the traditional architecture, the food, the strange and sometimes ridiculous contrasts, and the beautiful countryside. I lived in Shiga prefecture for one year, and in Kyoto for nine years, and now I live in Machida in Tokyo. I've traveled a little in Japan, but not nearly as much as I'd like to. I like traveling by train, but my favorite way to travel is bicycle.