Mogusaen - There Were Plum Trees

Trip Start Aug 15, 2010
Trip End Aug 09, 2011

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Flag of Japan  , Tōkyō,
Sunday, April 10, 2011

Some events overshadow all others, so I'm not surprised to find that nearly a month after the Great Tohoku-Kanto Earthquake, things I did mere days before it seem like they happened years ago.

For those of you who've been following this travel blog for a while (mostly my mother!), you'll remember that March is the time I wax poetical about plum blossoms.  As I did here, and here, and here.  And most recently, here.  But one post a year is not enough, and I did at least manage one plum-blossom-specific excursion this year -- my trip to Ome fell through, scheduled as it had been for two days after the earthquake.

On the 5th of March, my friend Kimberly and I took the Keio line to Mogusaen Station.  It's a very small local station, not an express stop (though since the park is owned by the Keio Corporation, some rapid trains stop there at this time of the year), and is surrounded by the usual mix of small businesses, houses and apartment buildings that you find outside the Tokyo core.  It's a short walk to the park itself, only ten minutes or so, though part of it is going up a steep hill.

The day was beautiful and warm, and the flowers were just as fragrant as I could have hoped.  The blossoms probably peaked a week or so after we were there, but since plum blossoms, unlike sakura, stick around longer, there was a greater variety of types in bloom at the same time, from the early-blooming white ones (which I think smell the sweetest) to the deep magenta ones that look so stunning with sunlight shining through the petals.

Admission to the park costs all of Y300 and it's a lovely place.  Not too large, and easy to see in an hour if you stroll at a leisurely pace, but you can stay longer if you want to sit down and enjoy a snack and some tea or a beer (of course they sell refreshments -- this is Japan, after all!) or if you happen to enjoy photographing flowers from many different angles.  I hear some people are into that.
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