The Sword and Plum Festival 2020

Spring is approaching and that means the peach, plum and cherry blossoms are upon us. Particularly now, plum blossom are all mostly in full bloom.

In Osaka, even though we are not famous for these blossoms like Kyoto and Nara are, there are still a few spots right now where you can see the flowers. Osaka Castle is currently in full bloom, and so are the few trees they have at Osaka Tenmangu.

Currently, there is an exhibit for potted plum bonsai trees and swords there.

It is an indoor event inside the temple complex created by xorium, and the entry fee is 700 yen per person. The event lasts until March 8th, 2020 - so go before all the plum blossoms disappear and the event ends.

I went on 2/24 and it was labeled as full bloom. However, there are a number of different varieties and some trees were still in the midst of blooming, so I think it’s still possible to see some flowers next weekend.

There are 4 rooms in total of different plum bonsai of different varieties and ages. Most of them are about 100 years old! A few labeled at 120 years old! That’s pretty impressive. Every 15 minutes, the lights in the room will turn on and off. This is when the lights are on (click the arrow to see more pictures).

And below is when the lights are turned off, with the projections on every wall in every room. Personally, I think it’s much more impressive with the light off, but I think if you’re here to admire the flowers, the light on makes it easier to enjoy and see.

There is a little veranda where you can enjoy the outdoor garden (ruined by the tall buildings, quite honestly), where there are a few plum trees there too. And that is the end of this small exhibit. There is a tiny souvenir shop to buy some local goods.

Outside of the exhibit in the temple area, there are a few plum trees in bloom as well. So make sure you make the rounds around Osaka Tenmangu before heading out!

Where did you guys see spring blossoms? Share your experience if you have any!

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