2016 No.19

Japan: Loving the Four Seasons


Japan in Four Seasons
Journeys to Floral Paradise

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Your Map to Japan
Heavenly Blooms for Every Month

Japan’s archipelago, stretching east to west, offers beautiful blossoms throughout the four seasons.
Here are some of the finest places to experience a monthly floral paradise.

January Kanhizakura (winter cherry); Nago, Okinawa

Okinawa’s cherry blossoms have pride of place when it comes to being first to bloom in Japan: Ryukyu kanhizakura (P. campanulata) is dark pink in bellflower formations, adorning hillsides facing Nago. (Photo: Nago City Tourism Association)

February Suisen (narcissus); Echizencho, Fukui

Narcissus blooming along Echizen Coast, one of Japan’s three largest narcissus colonies, is known as Echizen suisen and can be viewed from December. (Photo: Echizen-town Tourism Federation)

March Ume (Japanese plum); Dazaifu, Fukuoka

On the shrine grounds of Dazaifu Tenmangu are some 6,000 Japanese plum trees, which Sugawara no Michizane, the “god of literature,” adored. (Photo: Dazaifu Tenmangu)

April Tulip; Tonami, Toyama

Every spring, the city of Tonami hosts the Tonami Tulip Fair, one of the largest in Japan. During the festival, three million tulips of 700 varieties adorn Tonami Tulip Park. (Photo: Tonami Tulip Gallery)

May Nanohana (field mustard); Yokohama-machi, Aomori

The hilly terrain of about 150 hectares in Aomori’s Yokohama, located within Shimokita Peninsula, becomes completely filled with field mustard—a 360-degree view of flowers as far as the eye can see. (Photo: Yokohama-machi)

June Ajisai (hydrangea); Uji, Kyoto

Mimuroto-ji, known as Hydrangea Temple, is home to a grandiose cedar-lined garden of about 1.7 hectares featuring 10,000 hydrangeas in 50 species. (Photo: Mimuroto-ji)

July Lavender; Nakafurano-cho, Hokkaido

In Furano, located roughly in the center of Hokkaido, arrival of lavender’s bright purple hues and calming fragrance is the harbinger of a short but sweet summer up north. (Photo: Farm Tomita)

August Himawari (sunflower); Tsunan-machi, Niigata

Set on the border between Niigata and Nagano prefectures, the town of Tsunan, one of Japan’s snowiest areas, is home to a massive four-hectare sunflower field. (Photo: Tsunan-machi Tourism Association)

September Soba (buckwheat); Togakushi Plateau, Nagano

In northern Nagano, on Togakushi Plateau, tiny buckwheat flowers bloom all at once and give the illusion of a white carpet spread before your eyes. (Photo: Togakushi Tourism Association)

October Yellow cosmos; Yamanakako-mura, Yamanashi

A plateau park on Lake Yamanakako’s 1,000-meter shoreline, southeast Yamanashi, is a great place to enjoy yellow cosmos with Mt. Fuji, now a World Heritage site, in the background. (Photo: Hanano Miyako Park)

November Kiku (chrysanthemum); Kasama, Ibaraki

At Kasama’s annual Chrysanthemum Festival, Japan’s oldest, some 10,000 flower pots of chrysanthemum in colorful varieties adorn the city. (Photo: Kasama Inari Shrine)

December Stock; Awaji, Hyogo

In northern Awaji Island is a park of rolling hills famed for being home to a huge variety of stock flowers. Some 9,000 blossoms in five colors fill the air with their unique perfume. (Photo: Awaji Flower Gallery)