From Hokkaido to Kyushu! Picturesque Sunflower Fields in Japan to Visit in the Summer
Sunflowers are considered as one of the symbols of summer in Japan. When you see a large, colorful sunflower blooming under the blue sky, your day is sure to brighten. So, here are some scenic sunflower fields in Japan that will cheer you up with just a glance!
1. Sunflower Fields of Nayoro (Hokkaido)
Nayoro City, located in the northern part of Hokkaido, is a famous spot for sunflowers. Occupying a total land area of about 50 ha, this sunflower field inside the city is where 6 million sunflowers are planted every year. The best time to view the sunflowers is from late July to mid-August. If you visit during this time, you are bound to see large sunflowers in bloom all over the city! The dazzling scenery that they create is truly beautiful.
At the MOA Nayoro Farm that is open for sightseeing and the sunflower fields at Sun Pillar Park, the Nayoro Sunflower Festival (canceled in 2020) is held during the peak season for sunflowers. Various events are held during the festival, including a sunflower field maze, stamp rally, and stargazing sessions.
Nayoro is also famous for its gorgeous starry skies. Even I would like to see sunflowers blooming under the starry sky someday!
Access: Approx. 60 minutes from Asahikawa to Nayoro Station by JR limited express, and approx. 140 minutes from Sapporo
2. Showa Kinen Park (Tokyo)
The first time I saw sunflowers blanketing an entire area was in a scene from a foreign film that happened to be shown on TV. Since then, I've dreamed about going abroad someday to see sunflowers covering the earth in gold. Little did I know that such a place also existed in Tokyo!
Showa Kinen Park, found in the outskirts of Tokyo, is a popular spot where you can enjoy seasonal flowers as well as various events and activities. There are roughly 50,000 sunflower plants inside this park, and the best time to see them is from late July until early August. There are paths within the sunflower fields, so you can easily walk through the fields. The breathtaking beauty of the sunflower fields, reminiscent of a scene from a movie, has got me visiting this place every year within the last few years.
Opening hours: (March 1st - October 31st) 9:30 am - 5:00 pm, (November 1st - End of February) 9:30 am - 4:30 pm, (Weekends and national holidays during the April 1st to September 30th period) 9:30 am - 6:00 pm
Admission fees: Adults: 450 JPY, Seniors (65 years old and above): 21 JPY, Children (Below 15 years old): Free
Access: Approx. 40 minutes from Tokyo Station to Tachikawa Station by JR Chuo Line’s Chuo Express and then an approx. 10-minute walk from the Akebono Exit of Tachikawa Station
3. Yamanakako Hananomiyako Kouen (Yamanashi)
Located on the shore of Lake Yamanaka at the foot of Mt. Fuji, Yamanakako Hananomiyako Kouen is situated at a site that is 1,000m above sea level. It is a scenic spot where you can enjoy gazing at beautiful flowers that cover the vast 30 ha land, as well as at the magnificent Mt. Fuji.
The sunflower fields are found in the free area of the park. The flowers are in full bloom from mid- to late August, and a lot of tourists visit this place each year to see the golden carpet of sunflowers at the foot of Mt. Fuji.
Under the clear blue sky, the large sunflowers in bloom are overflowing with life. I felt happy just by looking at them!
Aside from sunflowers, this park is also home to poppies, zinnias, morning glory, and various other flowers that paint summer in vibrant colors.
At the paid area called "Seiryu no Sato," you can have a whole day of fun thanks to the water playground, waterfalls, and the all-weather greenhouse where you can see rare tropical plants.
Opening hours: (April 16th - October 15th) 8:30 am - 5:30 pm, (October 16th - April 15th) 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Admission fees: Adults: 300 JPY - 500 JPY, Elementary and junior high school students: 120 JPY - 200 JPY (depending on the season)
Access: Approx. 150 minutes from Shinjuku and approx. 170 minutes from Tokyo Station's Yaesu Exit by highway bus
4. Umami Kyuryo Park (Nara)
Umami Kyuryo Park, situated in Nara’s Kitakatsuragi area, is a place where you can enjoy the beautiful collaboration of burial mounds and flowers. There are plenty of burial mounds on the vast 65.3 ha site, so you can thoroughly enjoy the scenery created by the gorgeous flowers and the burial mounds.
About 150,000 sunflowers of 20 varieties are planted in the sunflower fields scattered in five areas inside the park, and in summer, these sunflowers blanket the entire area in a golden color. In addition to the standard sunflowers, there are also other sunflower varieties such as short sunflowers and the rare red sunflowers, so it would be a great idea to take a leisurely stroll through the park! Since I'm a history buff, I want to see the flowers set against the backdrop of the park's burial mounds one day.
Every year, the park holds an event called the "Umami Sunflower Week" (July 23rd (Thurs.) - August 2nd (Sun.) in 2020) during the peak sunflower season, treating its many visitors to events related to food and flowers, shows by street performers, and other activities on the weekend of the festival.
Admission fee: Free
Access: Approx. 2-minute walk from Ikebe Station on the Kintetsu Tawaramoto Line
5. Nokonoshima Island Park (Fukuoka)
Nokonoshima, an island located in the center of Hakata Bay, is a sightseeing destination where you can marvel at beautiful nature. One of the best and most famous spots on this island is a place that is well known for its flowers: Nokonoshima Island Park.
Inside the park where beautiful flowers bloom every season, there are attractions such as a mini zoo, playground, and athletic facilities, so you can definitely enjoy various activities while immersed in nature.
Summer at this park is also filled with the colors of sunflowers, with around 50,000 sunflower plants scattered throughout. Here, the seeds are sown at different times, so visitors get to enjoy the flowers longer. The sunflowers you will see while looking at Hakata Bay are so beautiful that they will surely take your breath away.
I haven't been to this park yet, but I already feel nostalgic about the past just by looking at its scenery that is exactly the same as my memories of summer in my childhood.
Opening hours: (Mondays - Saturdays, Sundays during winter, and national holidays) 9:00 am - 5:30 pm, (Sundays during spring to autumn and national holidays) 9:00 am - 6:30 pm
Admission fees: Adults: 1,200 JPY, Elementary and junior high school students: 600 JPY, Toddlers (3 years old and older): 400 JPY
Access: Approx. 10 minutes by ferry from the Meinohama Ferry Terminal, and then approx. 13 minutes by Nishitetsu bus (bound for Island Park)
There are still many other famous spots for sunflowers in Japan apart from the places featured in this article. Make sure to find a favorite spot that will cheer you up and brighten your day!
*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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