Mie town’s garden opens its gates after nightfall so guests can see the gorgeous blossoms in a whole new light.

The town of Suzuka, located in central Japan’s Mie Prefecture, is best known for its motorsport circuit, which serves as the host of the Japanese F1 Grand Prix and the grueling Suzuka 8 Hours motorcycle endurance race. But while Suzuka Circuit has long been a mecca for those who love speeding automobiles and burnt rubber, there are more delicate sights and aromas to be enjoyed at the city’s Suzuka Forest Garden.

Opened in 2014, the park’s grounds contain more than 200 shidare ume, or weeping plum, trees. A variety of species, gathered from around Japan, have been planted in the garden, and thanks to a relatively cool March the flowers, which first began blooming a few weeks ago, are now reaching their peak beauty.


▼ Viewed from above, the varying hues of the plum blossoms form an enchanting mosaic.

▼ Certain trees are adorned with shimenawa (Shinto purification ropes)

As dazzling as the plum blossoms look against the blue spring sky, they take on a new yet equally enthralling quality as the sun goes down, as evidenced in this twilight video shared by the park’s official Twitter account.


So this year, for the first time in Suzuka Forest Garden’s history, the facility is staying open after sundown so that visitors can stroll among its plum trees at night, with their flower-laden branches illuminated and forming bursts of color in the darkness.


▼ Some of the larger trees almost look like fireworks.

So as excited as we all are about sakura season coming up soon, maybe a few more days of cold weather wouldn’t be such a bad thing, if it extends the amount of time we have to appreciate Japan’s often-overlooked plum blossoms.

Park information
Suzuka Forest Garden / 鈴鹿の森庭園
Address: Mie-ken, Suzuka-shi, Yamamotocho 151-2
Normal hours 9 a.m.-4 p.m., special night admission until 9 p.m.
Admission: 500-1,500 yen (adults), 250-750 yen (children)

Source: IT Media