Spring

Hiraoka Park Ume Matsuri 2019 – Feel Love for Plum Blossoms in Hokkaido

Frances

Writer

Sapporo’s ‘Ume Matsuri’ (Plum Festival) is somewhat unlike other Japanese festivals in that it has no religious origins. The aim of the festival is simply to celebrate the bright beauty of the pink, red & white plum blossoms – a sign that winter is coming to an end, and spring is on its way. In this article, I’m going to introduce you to this wonderful spring event taking place in Hiraoka Park in Hokkaido.

History of the Festival

The origin of Hiraoka Park’s plum festival remains unclear; however, it is one of the most widely known spring festivals in the region – Hiraoka Park itself being a famed sightseeing spot for viewing these brilliantly colored flowers.

What Happens?

Situated in the suburbs of Sapporo City, Hokkaido, Hiraoka Park is home to over 1,200 plum blossom trees. Each year between late April and mid-May, once the plum blossoms have come into full bloom, the ‘Hiraoka Koen ume matsuri’ – (‘Hiraoka Park Plum Festival’) takes place.
For the duration of the festival, a temporary shop is set up, selling hard-to-find plum blossom flavored seasonal food and treats. Over 100000 people visit the park to see the plum blossoms every year in May.

Interesting Facts About the Festival

In the shop, ‘Hiraoka Ume Honpo,’ visitors can also purchase various plum flavored dishes to take away, including soba and udon noodle dishes containing plum in the soup; plum blossom flavored ice cream and cheesecake, as well as a huge variety of other plum flavored sweets.

Information and Advice for Spectators

Having no sacred ceremony or religious origins, visitors are free to leisurely enjoy the beauty of the blossoms in mass-bloom, and you can take as many photographs as you wish. A great choice for a group outing, I recommend going with friends or family, bringing your own drinks & snacks and enjoying a spring picnic under the plum trees (don’t eat too much, or you won’t have any room left to try any of Hiraoka Ume Honpo’s specialty dishes!).

Tourist Information About the Region

If you have a car, you can easily access other nearby sightseeing spots.
Sapporo Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill (a famous scenic spot) is just a 20 minutes drive away, and the iconic Sapporo Beer factory is just a 25-minute drive. Sapporo City Centre is approximately 30 minutes away.

Details and Access

Dates: 27th April – 19th May 2019

Place: Hiraoka Park

Address: Hiraoka-koen 2, Kiyota-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido, Japan

Entrance fee: none

Official website: http://www.sapporo-park.or.jp/hiraoka/

Access: 10 mins. by bus from Oyachi station (underground Tozai line)

Car park: about 350 parking spaces(free of charge, open 6 am-9 pm)
(Additional 7000 parking spaces available during festival dates)

Closing Remarks

When it comes to seasonal festivals, Japan’s copious flower festivals are hard to beat. Whether it’s the soft pinks of the spring cherry blossoms, the rich reds, and golds of autumn, or, as in this case, the brilliant pinks and reds heralding the long winter’s end, with their lively atmosphere, delicious local food and convenient facilities, a trip to Japan just isn’t complete without a flower festival experience.
If you would like a local guide to take you to this festival or take you to other flower events in Hokkaido, please check the banner below.

Explore Everything in Hokkaido

Hokkaido is the most northern island in Japan and is a great place to visit as it boasts plenty of tourist attractions and outstanding food. If you would like to see rural Japan, Hokkaido gives you a unique opportunity to visit a land of snowy mountains and admire authentic traditional northern Japan. The following article assembled the best festivals and activities to enjoy in Hokkaido throughout the year, which will make your trip to Japan even more rewarding!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/7030/

See More Hokkaido Spring Events and Festivals This Year!

Planning on visiting Hokkaido this spring? Hokkaido boasts great food, especially seafood and dairy, breathtaking nature, and various things to do. Of course, Hokkaido spring events are outstanding. Whether you are heading to Sapporo city, north, or east, or west coast of Hokkaido, you will have amazing experiences. The following article picked up the most popular spring events and festivals in the northern Island of Japan this year! Please take a look!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/events/most-popular-hokkaido-spring-events-and-festivals

Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/5363/

Don’t Stay Hungry at the Festival!

Image courtesy of Tomomarusan

The food presented during Matsuri is pretty different from the one you get at the restaurants in Japan. Besides, there is a certain charm in grabbing some snack from a food stall and diving back into the festival crowd. I am sure that you will discover something new about Japanese festival food from the following article!

URL: https://festivalgo.huber-japan.com/events/5504/

Frances

Despite having lived here for four years as an English teacher, Japan never ceases to both surprise and delight me.

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