Hokkaido Spring Summer Travel Guide

10 Most Fascinating Flower Festivals in Japan

In Japan, dwellers love to celebrate the return of spring and summer seasons with a number of flower festivals. Japan is loaded with endless outdoor adventures and I think making a trip to this archipelago either in spring or summer would be just incredible experience.

There are many flower festivals you could discover upon arrival of the spring season. They are held throughout Japan in various cities, towns, and regions. In general, here, a flower festival takes place in a certain area when the flowers of that particular area are at their best.

Hokuryu Sunflowers! Photo Credit: portal.hokuryu.info

Flower viewing is one of the highly notable traditions that we follow in Japanese culture. This tradition begins with ume (plum blossom) around mid to late winter.

Then it spread over a period of time till the end of summer showcasing flowers like cherry blossom, tulips, lavender, poppy, shibazakura, cosmos, wisteria, irises, hydrangeas and many more.

It is kind of a challenging task to choose the flower festivals as I believe they all deserve the tag “BEST/Popular”. Though I think it is going to be a great way to feature Japan’s most impressive flower fields and gardens through this post. However, let’s admire the natural beauty of spring and summer.

1) Atami Baien Ume Matsuri

Ume at Atami Plum Garden. Photo Credit: TECHNO RESEARCH Corporation.

I would like to start this challenging expedition by featuring the famous Atami Baien Plum Blossom Festival. Atami Baien is a picturesque plum grove, located in a small city called Atami on the Izu Peninsula that typically shines in early springtime. It has approximately 472 plum trees of 59 different varieties.

This sounds absolutely gorgeous! I actually have had a nice outdoor picnic party under the shade of the blossoms with my friends in this popular plum blossom viewing spot. You should try it when you visit the ume grove, highly recommended.

This 14,000 square meters size plum grove has got everything else to make a great festival atmosphere. You can take a pleasant walk through the garden paths and enjoy the delicate views of colorful plum blossom in February. In fact, the month – February is said to be the best time to visit the plum grove.

In addition, there are entertaining cultural events such as outdoor tea ceremony, taiko drum performance, miss Atami photo session, and live concert. Don’t forget to have some delicious foods from the food carts! To get know more about this flower festival, please visit here.

2) Kawazu Cherry Blossom Festival

Enjoy walking through the lined sakura trees. Photo Credit: Izu navi at Flickr.

Cherry blossoms (sakura) usually come into full bloom around the beginning of April in Japan but there are early bloomers out there. Have you heard of any such varieties? One of the earliest sakura varieties is called Kawazuzakura. This is a deep pink colored five petals sakura variety.

If you are willing to visit Atami Plum Garden during February, then I would definitely suggest you planning a trip to Kawazu town to see its impressive cherry blossom festival. In fact, both of these festival sites are located in Shizuoka prefecture on the Izu Peninsula.

You know what about 8,000 Kawazuzakura cherry trees can be found in this small town. You can spot most of the sakura trees on the riverbank of Kawazu River.

Along with walking through the path of the lined sakura trees you should walk along the riverbank and enjoy the relaxing sounds of flowing streams.

My previous visits to this renowned hanami spot say that one should get there in early-March in order to catch the peak season. Don’t miss the festival at the right time, so please check out the sakura forecast. For more info please click here.

3) Fuji Shibazakura Festival

The Mt. Fuji and pink Shibazakura. Photo Credit: Ben & Gab at Flickr.

Let’s head to the pinkish world now! Many people think that it is kind of a place that you must visit before you die. Those pink moss phloxes you see in the photograph above are actually called shibazakura or lawn sakura (cherry blossom).

They are obviously a nature wonder that burst into life at the beginning of April, every year! Though, you should not plan on a trip to this beautiful floral site until they are fully bloomed, so wait for the peak season. Please note that the Fuji Shibazakura Festival is held from mid-April through late-May.

Why do people like to visit it? What makes it very unique than those of the places filled with tons of Shibazakura you find in Hokkaido. I reckon you may have these kinds of questions in your head!

The reason behind this is during the festival while roaming around the resort park you can spectacle a stunning view of snow-capped Mount Fuji in the background. That’s extremely majestic!

You can discover approximately 800,000 shibazakura covering total 2.4 hectors of land in the resort. Yamanashi’s spring atmosphere is truly wonderful, and it is because of this awe-inspiring nature wonder, don’t you think so? Find out more here.

4) Tonami Tulip Fair

Tonami Tulip Park. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Spring is a breathtaking time to discover the Central Japan. Tonami city, ranked one of the top tourist destinations in the Toyama Prefecture is blessed with a wonderful natural arena in which tons of Tulips are bloomed mid-April.

On the last week of April till the beginning of May is the best time to see tulips here. At that time an impressive Tulip Festival takes place at Tonami Tulip Park. According to the festival organizer there are about 2 millions of tulips of hundred different varieties. That simply mind-blowing!

Seriously, the grounds of the park with that huge amount of tulips make a great festive atmosphere. If you want a great escape from the daily grind of a life of routine why don’t you just head to this tulip park?

Enjoy the stunning views of the colorful beds of tulips as there are plenty of numerous strolling paths in the park. In addition, you must try the foods out there and buy the cute souvenirs from the shops.

5) Nemophila Flower Festival at Hitachi Seaside Park

Nemophila flower at Hitachi Seaside Park. Photo Credit: Jonathan Lin at Flickr.

Some places around Ibaraki are particularly amazing to explore in the spring. One such incredible attraction is the Hitachi Seaside Park.

It is so beautiful and peaceful with its millions of blue Nemophila flowers (baby blue eyes) that you would love to stay there whole day. The park itself is quite famous for viewing various kinds of colorful tulips including yellow daffodils. The sky is blue so is the Miharashi Hills when all the flowers are in their full glory!

The rolling hills of Miharashi get covered with nearly 4.5 millions of Nemophila and make a stunning place to discover for outdoor nature lovers. I absolutely loved the idea of walking along the various paths through rolling hills. It was so charming!

Please note that the best time to Nemophila in the park is from mid-April to the first week of May. The tallest point of Miharashi Hills lets you see the whole park area including the blue ocean.

Want to know more about this place? If you are interested in it, read this guide.

6) Wisteria Festival at Kawachi Fuji Garden

The Wisteria Tunnel at Kawachi Fuji Garden. Photo Credit: Wicker Paradise at Flickr.

One of the iconic wisteria flower viewing spots in Japan is the Kawachi Fuji Garden, located in Kitakyushu city, Fukuoka Prefecture.

It is a privately owned garden in which you must need to purchase ticket in advance during the peak season in order to enter Kawachi Fuji-en. Various colors of wisteria (pale red, white, dark purple, purple, blue, and pink) decorate the entire garden area in a very elegant way that it seriously looks like heaven.

The garden highlights about 150 wisteria flowering plants of 20 different varieties. Visitors there are interested in walking along the flower-covered pathway. In fact, it is the famous wisteria tunnel which is about 100 meter long made of wisteria trees of different kinds and colors.

Besides, you can satisfy and relax your mind looking at the large wisteria trees that together form a large roof of dropping blossoms. Late-April to Mid-May is said to be the best time to visit this wisteria garden.

If you wish to visit other popular wisteria gardens in Japan, then visit this page.

7) Bunkyo Ajisai Matsuri

Hydrangeas at Hakusan Shrine, Tokyo. Photo Credit: ozma at Flickr.

What is Ajisai? In Japanese, Hydrangea is called Ajisai. It is a delicate flower burst into life upon arrival of the rainy season.

If you live in Tokyo, you don’t need to head to Kamakura or elsewhere to see beautiful Ajisai garden, instead head to the central Tokyo of Bunkyo Ward. The Bunkyo Ajisai Matsuri is held at Hakusan Shrine during the beginning of June.

It is said that there are approximately 3,000 colorful Ajisai bloom in this shrine and the park (Hakusan Park) next to it. Roam around the shrine’s grounds; find the perfect spots to take some awesome photographs as it offers excellent photo opportunities for visitors.

Events like takio drums, music & dance performances can be enjoyed during the festival time, especially on the weekends though.

8) Kamiyubetsu Tulip Festival

Beautiful landscape at Kamiyubetsu Tulip Park. Photo Credit: www.town.yubetsu.lg.jp

I have visited most of the famous tulip festivals in Japan but Kamiyubetsu tulip festival seems to me very unique. No, I don’t hate it; actually I love this place than rest of the tulip fields I have discovered in my life.

This is truly a breathtaking place that every Hokkaido visitors should get into. The festival takes place in Kamiyubetsu Tulip Park and can be enjoyed from early-May through early-June.

This popular tulip park is located in Yubetsu town that could be accessed to from Monbetsu district very easily. It hosts a month-long schedule of events and festivities. You know what visiting a tulip garden is said to be much better on a sunny day.

If you want to witness spectacular views of rainbow tulip field in the Hokkaido Region, please plan a trip to this peaceful atmospheric site and I guarantee that you would fall in love with this.

9) Hokuryu Sunflower Festival

Sunflower Fields in Hokuryu. Photo Credit: portal.hokuryu.info

Hokkaido is vast and there you can learn and explore a lot of amazing things. Sunflower fields in Hokuryu have always attracted my soul when it comes to talking about Hokkaido’s summer.

It is the biggest sunflower festival in Japan held usually from mid-July to mid-August. Anyone looking for a place to see sunflower in Japan should head towards this beautiful small city which is home to 1.5 million sunflowers.

You can rent a bicycle or hop on the touring car to see the vast areas filled with millions of sunflowers. Every time you gaze at the rolling hills you would be surprised with the striking yellow color they show off.

Please note that to see impressive sunflowers in Hokuryu you must get there in early-August. I wish you good luck!

10) Farm Tomita Lavender Festival

Rainbow Flower Field at Farm Tomita, Furano. Photo Credit: Agustin Rafael Reyes at Flickr.

Want to see impressive lavender fields in Hokkaido? There are many and most of the lavender gardens are worth a visit. However, to imagine and witness the real beauty of lavender I suggest you to visit Farm Tomita, located in Nakafurano area.

Many people visit Furano town in the summer in search of beautiful flower farms in the area including Biei. If you are one of them and wish to discover Hokkaido’s flower season, the best to start your expedition is by visiting this famous flower garden.

The farm is divided into some separate fields with some houses. Each field looks different as they are decorated with different types of seasonal flowers.

When you are in the traditional lavender field you would definitely enjoy the rural landscapes of the Furano valley and the Tokachi Mountain ranges. While on the other hand, Irodori field features a great looking rainbow flower field. July is said to be the best time to see lavender there.

Japan in spring is marvelous, while Hokkaido at its best during summer when it comes to see flower fields on the island.

Either in the mainland Japan or Hokkaido during this time of the year the air smells sweeter, fields of colors seem more vivid, and the sun looks brighter. I am obsessed with the variety of flowers in Japan, what about you?

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