Various weeping plums and camellias bring the coming of spring
From February 18 to March 22, the Jonangu Shrine just south of Kyoto City holds the weeping plums and camellia festival.
The Jonangu Shrine was constructed as a way of keeping peace in Japan when the capital was relocated to Kyoto in 794.
The shrine enshrines the deity of "nation-building," the deity of bravery, and the female deity of safe childbirth and child-rearing.
The shrine's many popular gardens provide incredible views year-round with incredible weeping plums, camellias, cherry blossoms, wisterias, azaleas and maple trees. During the spring weeping plums and camellia festival located in the western part of the shrine, the 150 weeping plums paint the gardens a wonderful shade of pale pink and white
During the festival, you will also be able to catch a glimpse of both early and late blooming plums.
Enjoy semi-blossomed plums in early spring. The early blooming plums are vibrant in color and blossom more widely than those that bloom later.
When all the trees reach their peak, you can enjoy the sight of 150 plums all in full blossom. The magnificent scene is nothing far off breathtaking.
Heading into the cherry blossom season, you'll be able to enjoy pale pink carpets of fallen plum blossoms as the petals lose their grip on the branches. While beautiful in its own right, this season provides an entirely different atmosphere from that of the peak season.
Three hundred camellias dot the path from the gate of the Shin'en garden to the Heian garden. The grouping features Hatsuarashi, a camellia that blooms in the middle of December, Akebono, which has distinctively large, pink flowers and cute scarlet Jonan camellia.
Wander through the rows of camellias and see which one is your favorite.
Matcha in the Rakusuiken Tea Room
Rakusuiken is a tea room located between the Muromachi garden and the Momoyama garden serving matcha and a traditional tea ceremony sweets. Enjoy the landscape of the beautiful garden while savoring the flavors of the matcha green tea and cute flower-shaped sweet. (Matcha is 300 yen).
Shrine Maiden Purification
Inside the shrine, you can see a purification ritual carried out by a shrine maiden wearing a crown of plum blossoms. This ritual used to start on February 12 but was moved due to warm weather. During the weeping plum and camellia festival, Kagura Shinto music and dance numbers are performed at 10 a.m. on weekdays, and 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekends. Plum good luck charms are sold for 1,000 yen at the shrine in addition to flower charms, which are said to work for beauty, health and happiness. If you buy one of these flower charms, you can participate in the purification ritual carried out by the shrine maiden and be exercised of bad spirits.