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1. Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park (Hokkaido)

Located in Hokkaido’s Sapporo area, Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park is a popular spot that is known for its rich nature. The park holds the Tulip and Lily of the Valley Festa every year, giving guests a chance to see the hill covered in 230,000 tulip plants of 200 varieties in May, and enjoy 50,000 lilies of the valley in June. During this festival, you can marvel at magical views such as tulip fields with patchwork-like colorful gradations, where a mix of multiple varieties of tulips are planted.

Best time to view the tulips: Around May
Best time to view the lilies of the valley: Around June
Schedule of event for FY2018: Saturday May 19 – Sunday June 10

1. Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park (Hokkaido)

247 Takino, Minami-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido

2. Fuji Motosu Lake Resort (Yamanashi)

This is a popular spot for flowers that is found at the foot of Mt. Fuji. It is particularly famous for the shibazakura (moss phlox), and right around the peak of flower viewing, the Fuji Shibazakura Festival is held at this spot. There are 800,000 shibazakura plants of different types that blanket the vast 2.4ha area, creating a carpet-like scenery that is set in brilliant colors. A hill resembling Mt. Fuji is usually created, called “Shibazakura Fuji”, and the contrast that it produces with Mt. Fuji makes this area a very popular photography spot. In early summer, visitors can enjoy more than 10 kinds of flowers bloom one after another, including windflowers and azaleas.

Best time to view the shibazakura: Early to mid-May
Schedule of event for FY2018: Saturday April 14 – Sunday May 27

2. Fuji Motosu Lake Resort (Yamanashi)

212 Motosu, Fujikawaguchiko-machi, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi

3. Ashikaga Flower Park (Tochigi)

This park in Tochigi, which boasts a massive area of 94,000 sq.m., is visited by more than 1 million people annually for the purpose of admiring the flowers every season. The symbol of this park is the flower of wisteria, which is an ancient flowering tree in Japan. More than 350 wisteria trees are planted here, and when summer sets in, they bloom according to color in this order: pale red, purple, white and yellow. There are various ways to enjoy these flowers, including walking through the tunnel-like path that they form, and enjoying their reflection in the pond when they get lit up at night. At this park, you can enjoy gorgeous and fantastic scenery.

Best time to view the wisteria flowers: Mid-April to mid-May
Sample admission fee (the rates vary depending on the blooming of the flowers): Adult: 900 JPY - 1,800 JPY, Child (4 years old to elementary school student): 500 JPY - 900 JPY

3. Ashikaga Flower Park (Tochigi)

607 Hasama-cho, Ashikaga-shi, Tochigi

4. Hitachi Seaside Park (Ibaraki)

Hitachi Seaside Park is a government-run park that houses massive flower gardens in various areas in the park’s approximately 200ha property, where the flowering plants that change every season are truly a feast for the eyes. In early summer, the nemophila, which is an annual plant from North America, come into bloom. These flowers cover the hill in the Miharashi-no-oka hill area overlooking the Pacific Ocean in a blue hue, treating guests to a scenery where the color of the flowers melts into the blues of the sky and the sea.

Best time to see the nemophila flowers: Late April to early May
Admission fee: Adult (15 years old and above): 410 JPY, Senior citizen (65 years old and above): 210 JPY, Child (elementary and junior high school student): 80 JPY, Toddler (under 6 years old): Free

4. Hitachi Seaside Park (Ibaraki)

605-4 Aza-onuma, Mawatari, Hitachinaka-shi, Ibaraki

5. Nezu Shrine (Tokyo)

Said to have been founded roughly 1,900 years ago, Nezu Shrine also possesses a more than 300-year history as a famous spot for azaleas. The azalea garden here that measures more than 6,600 sq.m. in area, boasts 3,000 azalea plants from about 100 varieties, including the Fuji-tsutsuji that has flowers as small as beans, and the hanaguruma with flowers that look like pinwheels. During the peak season of flower viewing each year, the shrine holds the Bunkyo Tsutsuji Matsuri (Bunkyo Azalea Festival). During the festival, there are events such as a market for potted plants, a flea market and stalls, so the festival gets lively with people.

Best time to view the azaleas: Mid- to late April
Admission fee: 200 JPY, but elementary school age and younger children who come with guardians enter free of charge
Schedule of event for FY2018: Saturday April 7 - Sunday May 6

5. Nezu Shrine (Tokyo)

1-28-9 Nezu, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo

6. Satte Gongen-do Sakura Tsutsumi (Saitama)

Satte Gongen-do Sakura Tsutsumi is a place in Saitama that is popular for rapeseed flowers and cherry blossoms. Every spring, about 1,000 cherry blossom trees bloom along the 1km long embankment, creating a spectacular tunnel of flowers and producing a beautiful contrast with the bright yellow of the rapeseed flowers that are planted alongside. When the flowers are in full bloom, the Satte Sakura Matsuri (Satte Cherry Blossom Festival) is held. About 100 stalls are set up and various events take place during this festival.

Best time to see the cherry blossoms and rape blossoms: Late March to early April

6. Satte Gongen-do Sakura Tsutsumi (Saitama)

887-3 Uchigoma, Satte-shi, Saitama

7. Byakugouji (Hyogo)

Byakugouji is an ancient temple that boasts a history of about 1,300 years. While it is known for the spectacular flowering plants inside its grounds that bloom every season, it is particularly famous for the wisteria flowers that come into bloom in early summer. The kyushaku-fuji variety of wisteria that blooms in a 120m-long, 9m-wide wisteria shelf is widely known here, with lots of visitors coming to catch a glimpse of the flowers in May. With the long spike of the kyushaku-fuji that can stretch up to 150cm, these flowers are a sight to behold. During the blooming period, visitors will also see them lit up in magical illumination. The Kyushaku-fuji Matsuri (Kyushaku-fuji Festival) that offers various events is held during the peak season of the flowers.

Best time to see the wisteria flowers: Early to mid-May
Schedule of event for FY2018: Saturday May 5

7. Byakugouji (Hyogo)

709 Byakugo-ji, Ichijima-cho, Tamba-shi, Hyogo

8. Field of Japanese Irises in Kozutsuminishi Pond (Aichi)

This is the cluster of Japanese irises at the northernmost part of Kariya City in Aichi Prefecture that has been designated as a national natural treasure. When early summer comes, the Japanese irises that grow in the marsh in Kozutsuminishi Pond, which boasts 20,330 sq.m. area, bloom into dainty bluish-purple flowers that mesmerize the people who come to take a look.

Best time to see the Japanese irises: Mid- to late May

8. Field of Japanese Irises in Kozutsuminishi Pond (Aichi)

1 Kozutsumi-nishi, Igaya-cho, Kariya-shi, Aichi

9. Kawachi Wisteria Garden (Fukuoka)

Kawachi Wisteria Garden is a famous spot for wisteria in the Fukuoka region. During early summer, 22 varieties of beautiful wisteria flowers bloom. Visitors get to enjoy the flowers in many different ways, such as through the huge wisteria shelf that occupies a vast area and the tunnel-like wisteria path. You can also enjoy a gradation of delicate and gorgeous flowers that look like they are in a watercolor painting.

Best time to see the wisteria flowers: Early May
Schedule of garden opening in FY2018: To be confirmed
※ For Saturday April 21 to Sunday May 6, advanced reservation tickets (convenience store tickets) are required. Further, the admission fee (500 JPY – 1,000 JPY) varies depending on the blooming of the flowers, so visitors may need to pay an additional fee upon entrance.

9. Kawachi Wisteria Garden (Fukuoka)

2-2-48 Kawachi, Yahatahigashi-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka

10. Mifuneyama Rakuen (Saga)

Mifuneyama Rakuen is an enormous garden that is known as the premiere spot for flowers in the Kyushu region. Various flowers bloom here throughout the year, but the ones that have become its biggest attractions are the azaleas that bloom in early summer. At the cone-shaped Azalea Valley, the azaleas in different colors are so thick and dense that they actually look like a carpet, treating guests to a gorgeous view. During the blooming period of these flowers, the Hana Matsuri (Flower Festival) is held, where many visitors enjoy such attractions as teahouses that are open for a limited time only.

Best time to view the azaleas: Mid-April to early May
Schedule of event for FY2018: Monday April 9 - Sunday May 6
Admission fee to the Flower Festival: Adult (middle school student and older): 700 JPY, Elementary school student and younger: 300 JPY, Free for guests staying at Chikurin-tei or Mifuneyama Kanko Hotel

10. Mifuneyama Rakuen (Saga)

4100 Oaza Takeo, Takeo-cho, Takeo-shi, Saga

Early summer in Japan is warm and filled with a refreshing and merry vibe. So, how about visiting the spots featured in this article and enjoying a stroll through fields of flowers at the start of the summer?

*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.

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