July 14, 2015

Spectacular Flower Spots in Japan

(Updated in Spring 2018)

Having a love for flowers, I spent quite a lot of time flower-hunting throughout my 2+ years stay in Japan. Gardens/parks were almost always the reason I chose a particular region to visit. Spring was the busiest time for me, when I chased Sakura (my favorite flower!) from Japan's south to north. Of course, other than cherry blossoms, got to appreciate many other types of seasonal flowers that were beautiful too! Here is a list of spectacular flower spots (in no particular order):

1. Lilies(Yuri / 百合)@ Maishima(舞洲), Osaka

2.5 million lilies blooming along Osaka Bay in June~ They come in several different colours, with yellow being the most popular (judging from comments from locals around me) and striking against the blue sky and sea, though my favorite is bright orange!

2. Wisteria(Fuji / 藤)@ Ashikaga Flower Park, Tochigi(栃木)

From mid-April to mid-May, Wisteria Festival is held, and the park is filled with purple, white, pink and yellow wisterias. One of the trees is actually more than 100 years old! The purple curtain is a beautiful sight, though I don't quite like the scent of wisterias :S

Another famous wisteria garden is Kawachi Fuji Gardens in Kitakyushu, the other side of Japan. The wisteria tunnel here is very instagrammable, though in terms of quantity (scale) and quality (age), Ashikaga's is more superior.

3. Nemophila @ Hitachi Seaside Park(日立海浜公園), Ibaraki(茨城)

Didn't know about the existence of this flower before my Japan stay. From late April to mid-May, the 3.5 hectare hills are painted light blue by nemophila! With the sky, land and sea all blue (my favorite colour!), it's truly paradise~

4. Tulips @ Huis Ten Bosch, Nagasaki(長崎)

There are several places to see tulips in Japan, but in terms of scale, Huis Ten Bosch's Tulip Festival (mid-February to mid-April) is the biggest. There is also light-up at night. Doesn't quite feel like Japan though, as this theme park is Dutch-themed.

5. Begonias @ Nabana no Sato, Mie(三重)

Nabana no Sato, near Nagoya, is a popular flower park famous for tulips, begonias, cosmos and illumination in different seasons. (So I actually visited this place a total of 3 times!) There is a greenhouse with many types of begonias that can be seen year round. Fell in love with this pink one with glittery petals~

6. Lavender @ Menard Aoyama Resort's Herb Garden, Mie(三重)

It has always been my dream to go to Furano in Hokkaido to see the lavender fields. Wasn't able to fulfill it during my stay in Kobe as there was no long holiday in July. (And my job didn't allow for leave taking) So, I actually tried to search online for lavender fields nearby that I could go. There were a few, but the scale weren't satisfying enough. Not until I found Menard Aoyama Resort's Herb Garden. It claims to have 50000 lavenders!

The blooming period is from mid-June to mid-July. A pity it was raining when I visited, so it was a little foggy due to the higher altitude. Though the scent was stronger~

7. Roses @ Suma Rikyu Park(須磨離宮公園), Kobe(神戸)

There are quite a number of gardens to see roses around Japan, but Suma Rikyu Koen in Kobe is definitely worth mentioning. 180 varieties of 4000 roses bloom from early May to late June and mid-October to late November. The European style garden with fountains is spacious and relaxing, one of my favorite place to hang out during my stay in Kobe~

8. Hydrangea(Ajisai / 紫陽花)@ Kobe Municipal Arboretum(神戸市立森林植物園)

Yes, it's Kobe again, not because I'm biased towards Kobe :P There are a few temples around Japan that are famous for Ajisai, such as Hasedera and Meigetsuin in Kamakura, Mimurotoji in Kyoto, but in terms of variety and scale, this botanical garden in Kobe is truly notable. Well, Ajisai is the official flower of Kobe!

During the rainy season from mid-June to mid-July, many people flock to this forest garden. In fact, many residents of Kobe I know of visit this place every year for Ajisai. It is really relaxing to walk along the trails with both sides of the path lined with blue, pink and white Ajisai during the quieter weekdays.

9. Sunflowers @ Himawari no Sato, Hokkaido

Other than lavender fields, Hokkaido is also known for its sunflower fields. When I went there with a tour group in October 2011, didn't get to visit Himawari no Sato, boasting 1.5 million sunflowers, the most in Japan. Was arranged to go to Shikisai no Oka instead, whose sunflower field is smaller but the flowers bloom later.

Hokkaido is not the only place to see sunflowers. There are actually many large sunflower fields all around Japan. Nanko Himawari Hata in Sayo-cho, Hyogo prefecture, has 1.3 million sunflowers! A pity when I visited during the festival in July, it was drizzling, so the sunflowers were facing down...

10. Plum blossoms(Ume / 梅)in Kairakuen, Ibaraki(茨城)

Kairakuen, 1 of the 3 Great Gardens in Japan, is famous for its plum blossoms in March. There are 3000 plum trees of 100 varieties. When I went there during the Mito Plum Festival, enjoyed tea ceremony and lunch bento in the midst of the plum trees. The wonderful experience didn't lose to Sakura viewing at all ~

Another famous plum blossom spot is Dazaifu Tenmangu near Fukuoka, the other side of Japan, boasting 6000 plum trees.

11. Moss Phlox(Shibazakura / 芝桜)at Fuji Shibazakura Festival, Yamanashi(山梨)

Attracting many domestic and foreign tourists every year around the Golden Week, this is the famous place to capture a huge bed of little dark pink flowers with Mount Fuji in the backdrop! Managed to catch them in full bloom with clear view of Mount Fuji during my 2nd try in May 2018~

Note that the blooming period for most of the flowers varies every year, so it is important to check before visiting.


Post a Comment