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2024.03.06Mito Plum Festival and Japan Umeshu Festival 2024 in Kairakuen Garden, Mito!

Kairakuen is one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan, and it is registered as a Japan Heritage site. It was established in 1842 by the 17th local daimyo (feudal lord), Nariaki Tokugawa, as a garden to be enjoyed by commoners, along with feudal lords and samurai. Kairakuen is especially known for its 3,000 plum trees of more than 60 varieties, which bloom in late winter–early spring, earlier and longer than sakura, and produce fruit in June.

During the plum blooming season, the Mito Plum Festival is held here — for more than 120 years! Besides viewing the beautiful blooming plum grove, the Mito Plum Festival offers various activities and events mainly held in Kairakuen and its surroundings and Kodokan—the former samurai school.

One of the most popular events is the Japan Umeshu Festival, offering the chance to taste over 150 varieties of umeshu (plum liqueur)! It usually lasts for three days at the beginning of March. It is held in the open air on the Tokiwa Shrine grounds near Kairakuen. You can taste the diversity of umeshu with different alcohol bases, classes, and even flavors for 30 minutes non-stop. It is surprising how umeshu harmonizes with rose, apple, yuzu, and even Earl Grey and other flavors! The bottle of umeshu you liked the most can be purchased on the spot at the selling corner.

The best option to get there is to buy tickets online — there are advance and fast-pass tickets offering easy access without waiting in a queue. If you get a chance to visit Kairakuen during its plum blooming season, don’t forget to seize the opportunity to taste and compare various umeshu from all parts of Japan!

Dates

From 10 February (Sun) to 17 March (Sun)

Time, dates, fees, and locations vary depending on the festival events.

Main locations

About Mito Plum Festival

https://mitokoumon.com/festival/ume.html (Japanese)