Nara is well known as a destination for day trip from either Kyoto or Osaka. Most people end up just visiting Todaiji Temple and explore Nara park to see deers. However, there are much more places that you can visit and enjoy.
If you’ve got few days to spend your time in Nara or already done exploring touristy places, I recommend visiting Tsukigase where you can relax and feel nature. Tsukigase region is located in eastern part of Nara city and famous for one of the best plum grove (Bairin) in Japan.
Bairin: Plum tree heaven
From mid February to March, about ten thousand plum trees bloom along the valley to signal the coming of Spring and… the scenery looks absolutely stunning!
These plum trees were first planted 750 years ago. People have been absolutely fascinated with these gorgeous plum trees since then. The plum grove of the Tsukigase became the first designated scenic beauty site in Japan in 1922. Matsuo Basho, one of the most famous Japanese haiku poets, composed poem about plum trees of Tsukigase because he was captivated by the beautiful scenery.
During the high season, over two hundred thousand of people visit Tsukigase.We can enjoy various events such as photo contests and haiku poetry contests. Also in beginning of April, about three thousand cherry blossom trees bloom in Tsukigase so if you are lucky, you can enjoy watching both blossoming trees.
Besides plum glove, there are other places you can visit in Tsukigase.
##Tsukigase tea fields
There are many organic tea fields in Tsukigase. Short daylight hours and a large temperature difference between morning and evening in Tsukigase make tea leaves grow slowly and become high quality fragrant tea called “Yamato Tea” which contains rich minerals. You can purchase best quality teas at a market with decent price. No doubt, you will just enjoy even looking at tea plantations because they look gorgeous!
Tsukigase Onsen Hot spring
It is a simple hot spring resort located between mountains where you can enjoy an outdoor bath with fine view, an indoor relaxing bath and a sauna. You can also try local foods at the restaurant in the resort. Visiting Tsukigase Onsen is definitely a great escape from busy city life.
Also, you can experience many things in Tsukigase. Yes, plenty of options!
< Mochi Pounding >
< tea picking and Hand rolling tea >
Other experiences are also available such as plum picking, plum syrup making, miso making and so on.
Enjoy feeling countryside of Japan in Tsukigase! I bet you will like abundant natural beauty, fresh air, open spaces and nostalgic/traditional Japanese scenery.
Access Approximately 80 minutes by bus from JR or Kintetsu Nara Station. Get off at the Umenosato Station Tsukigase Onsen Stop.
How was my recommendation? It was quite interesting and unique, wasn’t it?
We also have tons of recommendations for you. Feel free to come and talk to us at NARANICLE. Friendly staffs who can speak English are waiting for you. No plans, no problems!