Travel

Sekai no Ume Koen (World Plum Park) near Himeji

I know, I know. Everyone loves cherry blossom season in Japan.
But don’t forget about plum blossoms! I’ll never understand why they get less attention from foreign visitors. They’re just as beautiful and on top of that they SMELL better!

There are several great plum blossom viewing spots. Today I want to introduce one of them: Sekai no Ume Koen
I bet you won’t find this in any (foreign) guidebook!

Visited: March 17th 2014

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

The “World Plum Park” (世界の梅公園) is located in Mitsu, Tatsuno City (Hyogo Prefecture: map). It’s not too far from Himeji.
Although not well-known outside of the Kansai region, the park draws a lot of tourists in early spring. They’re mainly coming from nearby Okayama, Kobe or Osaka.

Mitsu offers two of the best plum blossoms viewing spots in Kansai and you can easily visit both on the same day. They’re only a few minutes away from each other. The other one, “Ayabeyama Bairin” (綾部山梅林), I’ll introduce another time. It is home to around 20.000 plum trees.

With so many great options to enjoy plum blossoms, “Mitsu” (御津町) is also called “Plum District” (梅の町).

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

Access to the World Plum Park

If you don’t want a rental car or waste a lot of money on a taxi, then public transportation is the best way.

Get off at “Sanyo Aboshi Station“. From there take a Shinki Bus (神姫バス), get off at “Sekai no ume koen mae” and walk for about 15 mins.

 

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

Learn More About Sekai No Ume Koen

Sekai no Ume Koen opened in 1993. The park offers over 300 different types of plum blossoms not only from Japan, but also from China, Korea and Taiwan. Several Chinese-style buildings give the park an exotic touch.

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

The park offers a breath-taking view of the Seto Inland Sea. On a clear day you can see Awaji Island.

Unfortunately it was quite hazy when I visited due to the PM2.5 from China.

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

Exotic Chinese-style buildings, colorful plum blossoms and the blue ocean in the background. If this scenery isn’t beautiful, then I don’t know what is!

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

There are several benches in the park where you can sit down and just enjoy the sight and smell of the plum blossoms.

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

A lot of people ask me what the difference between plum and cherry blossoms is.

The most distinctive one is the scent, but if you have only photos, that doesn’t help, I guess?

Here’s a great explanation that will help you telling them apart.

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

With over 300 different types of plum blossoms, I’m sure there’s something nice for everyone!

Personally I really like those dark pink ones the best.

 

The Chinese-Style Buildings of Sekai no Ume Koen

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

Tobaikaku

Tobaikaku (唐梅閣) was my favorite among the buildings. It serves as an observation platform and is surrounded by a spacious and beautiful resting area on top of a hill.

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

Jinbaikan

In the photo above you see the “Jinbaikan” (尋梅館). In the first floor you’ll find a little “plum museum”. They have a detailed folder with photos and description of all the different plum blossom types featured in the park.

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

They also sell a few local products there.

In the second floor you’ll find a restaurant.

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

Sekkai Koutou Gate

On the right photo you see the Sekkai Koutou Gate (雪海香濤) which marks the entrance to the main area of the park.

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

Observation Spots

This observation spot (登り岩展望台) was my favorite. It’s a bit tricky to find, especially if you can’t read Japanese (as they have no signs in English at all).

From the upper parking lot (next to the Jinbaikan) there’s a small path you can take. It’s just a 2 mins walk and totally worth the great view!

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

There’s a small rock that you can easily climb. It offers the best view of the whole park!

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

Another observation deck where you can take a rest. The view from there is not as great, though.

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

Oh, and they have super adorable Chinese-style garbage bins!

 

Colorful Plum Blossoms and Beautiful Sights

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

Something like this is one of my favorite sceneries in Japan: pink blossoms and the blue sea in the background!

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

With so many different types of plum blossoms the park becomes extremely colorful in spring!

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

I visited on a warm spring day. As it was a Monday, not many people were there.

You could easily sit on one of the benches and enjoy the scent and beautiful sight of the plum blossoms, the birds’ twittering as well as the sound of the ocean.

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

I want to bathe in these blossoms!

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

Those two-color type plum blossom trees were absolutely awesome.

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

Even when you walk or drive up the road to the entrance of the park, you can enjoy the beautiful pink plum blossoms

Sekai no Ume Koen Mitsu World Plum Park

If you’re in Kansai (for example in Kobe or Osaka) in early spring, visiting this park certainly is worth a day trip!

 

Tourist Information:
Opening Hours:
9:00-16:30
Holidays:
Mondays (apart from plum blossom viewing season: ~2/11-3/25
Entrance fee:
400 yen (adult); 200 yen (children: elementary school – jr. high)
Time required:
at least 50-60 mins
Contact:
(+81)079-322-4100
Access:
You can take a taxi from JR Himeji or Tatsuno Station, but that’s rather expensive. Or take the train and get off at “Sanyoaboshi“. From there take a bus and get off at “Sekai no ume koen mae”. From the bus stop it’s a 15 mins walk.
Please note: Prices as well as opening hours / holidays are subject to change. Please make sure to follow the provided link to the official website to check out the latest updates.

19 Comments

  • I wish your photos could smell, Jasmine :) Beautiful guide-post!
    My grandfather used to have a few dozen plum trees. Love the tree, blossom and fruit!

    • That’s a great idea!
      I should invent something to make this actually possible. *g*

      Me, too! Can never get enough of it. I wish I had a garden where I could plant plum and cherry trees. ^__^

  • People don’t go see them much because they are not as well known, of course, but also because it is colder at that time, and therefore not as pleasant a time to travel [if you are not already in Japan].

    The best show of plum blossoms is at Kairaku-en in Mito, There are hundreds of plum trees, in 100 varieties. The garden is free, and while established in 1841, has always been open to the public. I visited it, but unfortunately past plum blossom time.

    • That and because most of them only have a short vacation time and if they have to choose, they’ll probably always go for cherry blossom season instead. Not that I blame anybody. I’d probably do the same. ;)

      Yeah, that’s one spot I really want to visit in early spring. I’ve already been there in summer once.
      It’s just too far for a day trip. :(

  • I took a look at the website and it says there’s only an entrance fee during plum season? I’d be in the area on the 30th… not sure if it’s worth to check out or already over by then? Any idea how long the bus takes/how much it costs?

    Ah okay, found it on the website: 30min from the JR station and 15min from the private train line!

    • As it looks right now, there might be nothing left once you arrive.
      Without the plum blossoms, I fear it’s not worth going there.

      You can ask me again in a few days, but I really think the majority of blossoms will be gone by then.

  • Looks like a great place to see the beautiful plum blossoms. I like how they have different types from around East Asia and there is some nice Chinese style buildings to shoot along with the blossoms for some beautiful pictures.

  • It’s so beautiful!
    Really a wonderful place!
    You’re lucky to have visited during this magic period!

  • Wow, beautiful photos. I wish I could see plum blossoms when I’m in Japan. Unfortunately I’ll be too late to watch them. But hey, at least I can look at your wonderful pictures and imagine how they would smell like. ^_____^

  • I really enjoy browsing your website, One of the best , if not the best from one individual I have come across…As I also really enjoy the Japanese style castles, that make it even better for me. You also introduce us to other less well known spots in Japan, which is also better for me as I prefer avoiding the crowds whenever possible! Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you so much, Michael!

      I still have lots of “hidden gems” to share, although I lack the time to update regularly at the moment.
      But I’ll definitely keep going! ^____^

  • Hi,
    I’d like to know if I go there on Feb 10, can I see plum blossoms? And can I go Himeji castle and Sekai no ume koen in one day trip? (I will take train from Osaka)

    Thank you.

    • Hey Lin,
      Usually that would be too early for most parts in Kansai. :/
      You can do Himeji Castle and the park in one day, but you’d need your own car or time the public transportation VERY well.

      Enjoy! ^_^