Sakura may be Japan’s most famous blossoms, but that doesn’t mean its other blossoms should be overlooked! Many places in Japan come alive with color during springtime, and different festivals are held to celebrate the beauty of the flowers. Here are some blossoms worth checking out, and where to see them. Note that some locations here are about 1-2 hours away from Tokyo, so schedule a day trip if you want to make the most of your time.
1. Shibazakura (Moss Phlox)
Where to see them: Mt. Fuji and Chichibu
Blooming from mid-April to late May, these pink, white, magenta, or light purple flowers thickly cover the ground like a carpet. This year, Mt. Fuji’s shibazakura festival is from April 15-May 28, from 8:00 am-5:00 pm, at the Fuji Motosuko Resort. Entrance is 520 yen for adults, and 210 yen for children. There are multiple ways to get there, the most convenient of which is by taking a bus that departs from Shinjuku and arrives at festival site in about 2 and 1/2 hours. Aside from the shibazakura, other attractions and activities are a food festival, photo contest, and souvenirs.
If Mt. Fuji is too far, try visiting Saitama Prefecture’s Chichibu for their shibazakura festival, which takes place from mid-April to early May. Specifically, the place to check out is Hitsujiyama Park’s Shibazakura Hill, which has about 400,000 shibazakura flowers. Also from 8:00 am-5:00 pm, the event costs 300 yen for adults, 250 yen for senior citizens, and free for junior high school students and younger. Shibazakura Hill is a 15- to 20-minute walk from Yokoze or Seibu-Chichibu Station, both of which are less than 2 hours away from Ikebukuro Station, with a ride costing at least 740-780 yen one-way.
2. Nemophila (Baby Blue-Eyes)
Where to see them: Hitachi Seaside Park
From late April to mid-May, the Miharashi Hills of Ibaraki Prefecture’s Hitachi Seaside Park transform into fields of blue, in a sight that some have described as something to definitely see before you die. This festival, dubbed Nemophila Harmony, takes place from April 22-May 14 this year, and involves 4.5 million nemophila—no wonder the hills turn almost completely blue! Open from 9:30 am-5:00 pm, Hitachi Seaside Park is about 2 hours away from Tokyo, and entails a pricey and complicated ride (at least 2,840 yen one-way) involving trains, then your choice of a bus, taxi, or getting there on foot. To save time and money, why not join a bus tour (such as a tour offered by tour booking site Japanican) combining Hitachi Seaside Park and Ashikaga Flower Park?
3. Fuji (Wisteria)
Where to see them: Kameido Tenjin and Ashikaga Flower Park
The best place in Tokyo to see these hanging blossoms is Kameido Tenjin, which is a 15-minute walk from Kameido Station on the Sobu Line. This shrine has a pond, which reflects the wisteria beautifully. It also has an arched bridge known as a “drum bridge,” making it a scenic spot. The wisteria festival here runs from April 21-May 6.
If you want to go a little farther, Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi Prefecture is an even bigger ground for wisteria. Not only do they have the usual light purple wisteria, but they also have ones in the same shade as cherry blossoms, as well as white, yellow, and green ones. The park is also known for having a long wisteria tunnel. This year’s Fuji Monogatari, the name for their wisteria festival, is from April 15-May 14, and is open from 7:00 am-9:00 pm every day (with the trees being illuminated from 5:30-9:00 pm).
Admission fees vary depending on the blooming status of the wisteria, but the price range listed on its website is 900-1,700 yen for adults, and 500-800 yen for children. Fees for nighttime entry range from 600-1,400 yen for adults, and 300-700 yen for children. The park is a 15-minute walk from Tomita Station, which is about 70 minutes away from Tokyo or Asakusa.
Where to see them: Showa Memorial Park
Showa Kinen Koen, or Showa Memorial Park, is a huge park located in Tachikawa in suburban Tokyo (about 30 minutes away from Shinjuku). The annual flower festival starts March 25 and will run until May 28. The festival isn’t for any particular flower, as there are many, but the tulip season starting mid-April is particularly stunning. You should also be able to catch some other blossoms, including field mustard and poppies (in May). The park is open from 9:30 am-5:00 pm, and entrance is 410 yen for adults, 210 yen for senior citizens, and 80 yen for children.
Where to see them: Kyu-Furukawa Teien
Kyu-Furukawa Teien, near Komagome Station, is famous for its vibrant roses. Its rose garden is slightly shaped like a maze, which makes for good photos with the Western-style residence. Its rose festival is from mid-May to early June, quite close to summer already. The park is open from 9:00 am-5:00 pm, and admission is 150 yen.
This article is updated annually. Last update: March 2017.
Filed under: Things to do
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