Akima Bairin is a plum grove with red and white plum blossoms on about 35,000 trees on a vast hill of about 50 hectares. Akima Bairin Festival is held every year from the third Saturday of February to the latter half of March according to the time when the plum blossoms bloom. During the festival, many events such as Japanese drum performance and chorus, distribution of plum branches, model photo session, Imonikai (taro-boiled parties), rice cake making competition, product exhibition, and pottery experience are held mainly on weekends. It is crowded with tourists and free Amazake (Sweet low-alcoholic Sake) is provided. This forest is actually the plum farm for Ume. During the Ume blossom season, the farmers sell great Ume products here, especially Ume Boshi, salty plum or pickled ume fruits common in Japan, which is very delicious. You can buy great Ume Boshi here. Also, you can buy an Ume tree for your own garden.
The best time to see plum blossoms is in early March.
During the opening period (crowded season), traffic will be restricted and some roads will be one-way. If you have traffic control staff, follow the instructions.
Open: 3rd Sat of Feb-end of March
About 50 minutes by car or 35km to Karuizawa Town.