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Various flowers

Japan In-depth

Lavender

Furano [Hokkaido]
Lavender is from a group of herbs that are native to the Mediterranean littoral. It finds it difficult to grow in areas of high temperature and high humidity, but the climate of Furano allows a number of lavender fields to spread in the area, making it the symbol of Furano. Both public and private lavender fields extend along Route 237 from Kamifurano-cho to Furano City, and the whole hillside turns into a mass of violet in the high season from mid- to late July. The Lavender Garden at Hokuseiyama, managed by the town of Nakafurano, is a skiing area in winter. By taking a lift (to be charged) up to the top of the hill, you can enjoy the magnificent landscape spanning from the Furano Basin to the Tokachidake Mountains.

Flowering season: Mid- to late July
Address: Kamifurano-cho / Nakafurano-cho, Furano, Hokkaido
Directions: A 10 min walk from Nakafurano Station (Furano Line).

 

Peach tree

Fruit Line [Fukushima]
Fukushima is one of Japan's major fruit production centers, where various kinds of fruits are produced all over the prefecture. In late April, the Fukushima Basin becomes full of peach blossoms. In particular, the area to the west of Fukushima City, along the Kaminagura-Iizaka-Date Line (prefectural road) connecting Routes 13 and 15, is called the "Fruit Line," offering the beautiful scenery of the Azuma-Adatara Mountain Range with the remaining snow. There are a number of tourist orchards and direct sales stores along the road, which attract many tourists purchasing fruits in the summer and fall.

Flowering season: Late April to early May
Address: Gorouchi-machi, Fukushima
Directions: 20 min by car from JR Fukushima Station.


 

Azaleas

Nasu-kogen Highlands [Tochigi]
The Yawatasaki-kogen Highlands spread on the hillside of the Nasu-kogen Highlands at around 1,100 meters above sea level, with azaleas growing in colonies in an area of 13 hectares. The promenades are well arranged throughout the colonies, to make you enjoy the enriching experience of strolling through the tunnels of azaleas. While walking through the red flowers of 100,000 azalea bushes, it is not uncommon to encounter wild animals. Beyond the flowers, you can also view the expanse of the Kanto Plain as well as Chausu-dake, the highest peak of Mt. Nasu-dake.

Flowering season: Mid-May to early June
Address: Yumoto, Nasu-machi, Nasu-gun, Tochigi
Directions: 45 min ride from JR Kuroiso Station (Utsunomiya Line) to Odan by Toya Bus for Nasu-sanroku. It is a 15 min walk from the bus stop.


 

Iris

Mizumoto-koen Park [Tokyo]
Mizumoto-koen Park is a natural garden located in the water area of "Koaidame," the reservoir which prevents flooding by the Tone-gawa River. The park (with an area of 820,000 m2) is the largest in Katsushika-ku, and displays a wide range of flowers of the four seasons for your enjoyment. In June, about 200,000 irises of 80 different varieties bloom in the southern part of the park, making the field of irises the largest in Tokyo. Visitors can closely watch the irises while standing on the wooden paths going through the fields. The Iris Festival is held every June.

Flowering season: Early to late June
Address: Katsushika-ku, Tokyo
Directions: 10 min ride by bus from JR Kanamachi Station to Mizumoto-koen. It is a 7 min walk from the bus stop.


 

Rape blossoms & Poppy

Mother Farm, Minami-Boso [Chiba]
Mother Farm is located on Mt. Kano-zan and overlooks the mountains of the Boso-hanto Peninsula as well as Tokyo Bay. While still being in the suburban area, you can experience the wonder of a resplendent nature in this tourist farm. Rape blossoms found on the large slope of the mountain are now regarded as a seasonal feature of the farm, while about three million flowers bloom all over the area giving the full fragrance of spring.
Minami-Boso is the southernmost part of Chiba, where spring comes a little earlier than in other parts of the prefecture. There is a driving route called the "Boso Flower Line" which stretches for about 17 km from Suzaki of Tateyama to Nojimazaki of Shirahama. Theme parks of flowers are located along this road, and various kinds of flowers, such as rape blossoms, poppies, and narcissi, bloom fully from mid-December to late March.

Flowering season: Mid-February to late April (rape blossoms)
Address: 940-3 Takura, Futtsu, Chiba (Mother Farm)
Directions: 25 min ride by bus from JR Sanukimachi Station (Mother Farm).
Admission: 1,500 yen for adults (Mother Farm)
Closed: January 11-14, weekdays of December 13-17 (Mother Farm)


 

Hydrangea

Meigetsu-in Temple [Kanagawa]
Meigetsu-in Temple, so called the temple of hydrangeas, is situated in Kita-Kamakura. About 2,000 hydrangeas are planted in the precincts, to make the place a very popular scenic spot in the rainy season of June. In 1951, the chief priest planted the bushes of beautifully-colored hydrangea as the fences of the temple, and this is how the beautiful spot was originally created. Many of the flowers are species from ancient Japan, named Himeajisai, the princess of hydrangea because of its elegance. There also other kinds of hydrangea which give an impressive blue color to the approach to the temple.

Flowering season: Mid- to late June
Address: Yamanouchi, Kamakura, Kanagawa
Directions: A 10 min walk from JR Kita-Kamakura Station.
Admission: 300 yen(500 yen in June)
Open hours: 09:00-16:00(08:30-17:00 in June)


 

Lespedeza

Nashinoki-jinja Shrine [Kyoto]
Nashinoki-jinja, which stands on the east side of Kyoto Gyoen National Garden and faces Teramachi-dori Street, is a shrine that worships Sanetsumu and Sanetomi, the father and son of the Sanetomi family who greatly contributed to the Meiji Restoration. It is called "Hagi-no-miya," the shrine of lespedeza, with red and white lespedeza flowers blooming in the fall on the narrow 500 meter long approach which goes through the precincts from north to south. The Lespedeza Festival is held on the third Sunday of September each year for performances of Kyogen (traditional comic) and Japanese traditional dance dedicated to the God, attracting a large number of visitors each year.

Flowering season: Mid-September
Address: 680 Somedono-cho, Teramachi-dori Hirokoji-agaru, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto
Directions: Take a city bus from JR Kyoto Station to Furitsu-Idai-Byoin-mae. It is a 5 min walk from the bus stop.


 

Peony

Hase-dera Temple [Nara]
Being sacred ground worshipped by devotees of Kan-non for many years, Hase-dera Temple is as popular as "Hase-dera of Peonies," and is well-known as the best scenic spot of peonies in Japan. The first peony was dedicated by Empress Bato of the Tang Dynasty (China), and today, about 7,000 bushes of 150 different varieties are planted in the gardens of wonderful colors such as red, white, pink and purple. The view from the passageway is marvelous, as its nickname implies. The temple is also known for its winter peonies, whose blooming period is artificially delayed by special treatment in spring and by straw wrapping against the frost. You can enjoy not only the gorgeous atmosphere of spring, but also the special flavors that these winter flowers can offer.

Flower season: Late April to early May / Early to late December (winter peony)
Address: Hase, Sakurai, Nara
Directions: A 15 min walk from Hasedera Station (Kintetsu Line).
Admission:500yen
Open hours:8:30-17:00(April to September) 9:00-16:30(October to March)
 

Camellia

Cape Ashizuri [Kochi]
Cape Ashizuri, situated at the southernmost part of Shikoku, is a representative scenic spot of Kochi. The quay was created by the granite ground being repeatedly raised and sunk over many years. Its two observation platforms provide a 270° panoramic view, from which you can see the curve of the earth and the continuous waves of the Kuroshio Current. In this area, sturdy camellia trees have been used for wind-protection. When winter comes, 60,000 camellias make romantic arcades of red flowers along the beautiful promenade connecting several sightseeing spots of the cape from "Tengu-no-hana" to the lighthouse.

Flowering season: December to April
Address: Tosashimizu, Kochi
Directions: 90 min ride by bus from Nakamura Station (Tosa Kuroshio Railway) to Ashizuri-misaki. It is a 10 min walk from the bus stop.

 

Rape blossoms, Iceland poppy & Cosmos

Ikoma-kogen Highlands [Miyazaki]
The Ikoma-kogen Highlands, situated on the gentle slopes of Kirishima at an elevation of 540 meters, provide a wonderful view overlooking the whole city. On its vast flower fields of 12 hectares, with the backdrop of the Kirishima Mountain Chain, 350,000 rape blossoms bloom in the spring, 250,000 Iceland poppies in early summer, and one million cosmos of 17 varieties in autumn. Many tourists are attracted to this enchanting place every year.

Flowering season: Rape blossoms / Mid-March to mid-April, Iceland poppy / Mid-April to late May, Cosmos / Late September to mid-October
Address: 8565 Minaminishikata, Kobayashi, Miyazaki
Directions: 20 min ride by car from JR Kobayashi Station.
Admission: 400 yen


 

Tulip

Tonami Tulip Park [Toyama]
One million tulips of 450 different varieties, of varied colors and shapes, beautifully bloom in Tonami Tulip Park to entertain the visitors. Both inside and outside of the park, there are facilities such as Japan's largest five-linking water wheel, a Dutch wind wheel, and the Tonami Tulip Gallery for visitors to learn about the history of tulips.

Flowering season: Tulip Fair from late April to early May
Address: Tonami, Toyama
Directions: 50 min ride by bus from Toyama Airport
Admission: 1,000 yen


 
Huis Ten Bosch [Nagasaki]
A theme park with a distinctly Dutch atmosphere, in spring Huis Ten Bosch is full of tulips, the national flower of the Netherlands, which beautifully bloom in the Bastion Area. The view with the backdrop of wind wheels make you feel as if you are really in the country of tulips, the Netherlands.

Flowering season: Early April
Address: Sasebo, Nagasaki
Directions: 1h 40min ride by Huis Ten Bosch Express from JR Hakata Station to Huis Ten Bosch Station. It is a 5 min walk from the station.
Admission: 2,500 yen for adults (for standard tickets. 3,000 yen for high seasons.Other kinds of tickets such as a "Passport" are also available.)

Photo: © Huis Ten Bosch/J-13814
 

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