I am a city girl to the core – being towered over by buildings wrapped in glass panels of a cool silver-blue hue is a source of comfort, although admittedly I sometimes feel like trading a concrete jungle for a more literal one filled with flora and fauna, just for a little while. If you are looking to go on a short getaway where you can surround yourself with the beauty of nature, here are two flower parks that are excellent options and are accessible from Tokyo.
1. Hitachi Seaside Park
Located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Hitachi Seaside Park is famously known for the sea of baby blue flowers known as nemophilas, which bloom between April and May, that coat a gently sloping hill located in a corner of the park known as Miharashi no Oka. I went towards the end of the nemophila season hence the area was not as densely populated with flowers as I have seen in some truly stunning pictures of the place, but standing at the top of the hill where I could see the (cloudy, a bit unfortunately) blue of the sky meeting the pastel blue of the flowers in equal proportion was such a picturesque sight.
Hitachi Seaside Park is considerably expansive with many sections to explore other than Miharashi no Oka, with several other types of flowers too. You can check out what kinds of flowers bloom in this park and when on its website here.
2. Ashikaga Flower Park
Also located in roughly equal distance from Tokyo as Hitachi Seaside Park is Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi Prefecture, known for its collection of wisteria flowers that I imagine would be beautiful to see lit up in the evening.
Apart from the wisteria, there is an unbelievable variety of gorgeous flowers that you may not see everyday. It is immediately obvious that a lot of careful planning goes into the display and allocation of flowers as every corner of the park is filled with blooms of complementary colors. There is a souvenir shop right at the entrance where you can purchase a pot of flowers to take home as well as edible flower-themed treats should you find it hard to leave with only hundreds of pictures.
So there you have it – my two recommended spots just a little bit north of Tokyo where you can find yourself a bit of tranquility amongst greenery. Between the two, I might rank the latter over the former as a whole because of its more agreeable layout and amazing flower variety per square foot, although Miharashi no Oka feels like a painting. One thing is for sure though – I am definitely planning on visiting more flower parks in Japan.