Celebrating Ume - Hanami in Tanabe

Kansai's top plum blossom viewing spot

Mid Feb
Early Mar
Venue: Kumano Kodo When: Mid Feb - Early Mar 2022
Outdoor events can be subject to cancellation or postponement due to weather or unforeseen circumstances. Our listings are only updated periodically, so please check the official site closer to any event if you wish to attend.

An ocean of white blossoms heralds the beginning of spring. No, this is not an early sakura but it is ume, the Japanese plum. In February ume (Prunus mume or Japanese apricot, often translated as Japanese plum) is in full bloom. Time for your first picnic of the year!

At the Kishu Ishigami Tanabe Ume Orchards in the south of Wakayama Prefecture more than 300,000 ume trees cover the hillsides that stretch out right to the Pacific Ocean in the distance. The view is breath-taking!

Being in full bloom in February, they mark the beginning of the New Year according to the Lunar Calendar (Chinese New Year) and, just after Setsubun, the beginning of spring.

The best way to celebrate this beautiful spring season at Kansai’s top ume viewing spot is the same as you would do for hanami, or cherry blossom viewing: get your bento and a couple of drinks and join the locals under the ume trees. Don’t forget to wrap up warm!

CORONA Note: Unfortunately, in 2021 the ume orchards will not be open to visitors. Let’s enjoy Tanabe Ume Orchard photos and look forward to visiting in the coming years.

Getting there

Kii-Tanabe can be reached by JR Kuroshio Train from Kyoto, Shin-Osaka and Tennoji.

The Tanabe Tourism Office, located right next to Tanabe Station, provides detailed information.

Usually, a 2.5 hour Charter Taxi/Jumbo Taxi Tour to the Kishu Ishigami Tanabe Plum Orchards is available. You can book at the Tanabe Tourism Office.

More info

Find out more about Kumano Kodo.

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Alena Eckelmann

Alena Eckelmann @alena.eckelmann

Founder of Kii Monogatari, my story and the story of the Kii Peninsula of Japan. Originally from East Germany, I came to Tokyo, via Berlin and London, in 2005. In summer 2011 I moved by choice to remote Kumano in the south of the Kii Peninsula where I live, work and play now, and explore every day.The whole of the Kii Peninsula is a Healing Hub for me with its abundance of forest, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, the ocean, friendly rural communities and sacred places. This is where nature meets spirituality, and tradition meets sustainability, the new paradigm for travel post-pandemic. My deep interest is in Japanese nature & spirituality. I love being in nature, in the forest and in the mountains, and I love spending time at temples and shrines.  I am building my life and my work around these two passions. I am a Licensed Forest Therapy (Shinrin Therapy) Guide and a Licensed Kumano Kodo and Koyasan Guide. I am also a Licensed Retreat Facilitator and I am planning retreats on the Kii Peninsula. Last but not least, I have been the Japan Travel Partner for Wakayama and Yamagata since the conception of the platform in 2011! These two prefectures are close to my heart because they are the centers of Shugendo, a spiritual tradition of mountain ascetism. I am a Shugendo Practitioner for over ten years now and received Tokudo in 2016 at a Shugendo temple on Yoshinoyama. Please kindly connect via my Facebook Page Kii Monogatari. Take care, keep well, stay safe! 

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