Category Archives: Parks

Plum Blossom at the Imperial Palace Park


On my way home from Kitano Tenmangu Shrine the other day, I stopped by the Imperial Palace Park to enjoy the plum blossom. The trees at Kitano Tenmangu are probably more famous, but the shrine grounds were also a lot more crowded. Though each tree in the park had its admirers, there was really only a small scattering of people around, and so I could enjoy the blooms in a more relaxed and pleasant manner.

Every tree has its admirers...

Every tree has its admirers…

And there is something very calming about viewing plum blossom.


The scent of plum blossom is subtle, not strong, but deep like wine and very rich. I love to stick my nose in a spray and take a big sniff!

梅が香に追い戻さるるさむさかな [松尾 芭蕉]

ume ga ka ni
samusa kana
~ Matsuo Bashō

plum blossom scent
this chases off
the cold!
( tr. Michael Lambe)

Umekoji Park

This is Umekoji Park; an important patch of green in Kyoto city.

The grass, the trees, the flowers; all are very pleasant on the eye.

But a park is much more important than that, it is the lungs of a city; cleaning the air, and regulating the temperature. Green spaces like this have also been shown to be good for people’s mental health.

The physical health benefits are obvious and the park is often used by sports enthusiasts and sports clubs from neighboring schools and universities. Continue reading