During the planning of this trip, I randomly came across this place in Instagram; I told myself I must bring everyone here to this amazing park – Nabana No Satoなばなの里
Nabana no Sato is a flower theme park that is famous for its seasonal flower shows, located on the Nagashima Island in Kuwana City, Mie Prefecture. It is just about 35 minute’s express bus ride from Nagoya’s Meitetsu Bus Center.
It is also known as one of the largest illuminated flower parks in Japan, illuminated with about 8 million LED lights. I was pretty lucky to catch the spectacular winter illumination display. The winter illumination normally starts in mid- October to early May, every year and I was just in time to catch the theme of the year – “Kumamon’s hometown dream in Kumamoto”, where Kumamon is the black bear and also Kumamoto prefecture’s mascot.
The park itself has various attractions such as the Island Fuji – the moving observatory ride that will take you high up to 45 meters for a panoramic view of the garden; Begonia Garden; light tunnels; souvenir shops, Nagashima Beer Garden and restaurants. You can also take a foot bath at their onsen if you have tired with all the walking.
The whole flower park will be filled with a huge variety of flowers that bloom during their blooming season. On my visit in mid-April, I could still catch a glimpse of Sakura and a large field of Tulips. At night, the flower park will transform into a stunning sea of light, with impressive animated light show that repeats all night long.
On this island itself, there are also Nagashima Spaland (an amusement featuring 60 kinds of games), and the shopping heaven for shopaholic – Jazz Dream Mitsui Outlet. You can actually plan shopping in Mitsui Outlet in the morning and then move over to sightsee in Nabana no Sato in the afternoon.
How to get there:
Purchase the bus ticket from Nagoya’s Meitetsu Bus Center, 3F. The bus ticket is priced at ¥ 1,760 for return ticket.
Head to 4F and queue at bus stop no. 22. The express bus will bring you off to Nabana no Sato within about 35 minute’s journey.
Purchase your entrance ticket at the counter. The ticket during winter illumination is priced at ¥2,300 which includes ¥1,000 worth shopping vouchers where you can purchase souvenirs or food. If you are visiting here during non- winter illumination time, the ticket is priced at ¥1,600.
The day’s lighting time is indicated at the entrance before you enter the park. It was 6.45pm for the day I made my visit. I was really lucky because the day was sunny with breeze.
It is flowers everywhere! So be prepared with all the flowers photos I am going to share up over here. If you fancy flowers and nature, you should really make your way and enjoy a stroll in the park. No matter what season it is, it has got something for you to see. There are tulips in spring, hydrangeas and irises in early summer, cosmoses and dahlias in fall.
Here is a glimpse of sakura before the greens leaves growing all out.
Sakura petals on the ground.
Begonia Garden is a giant greenhouse features over 12,000 plants bloom colourfully all year long; a large flower field with seasonal blooming flower. It requires extra charges for entering this facility and so I didn’t enter. Get to know that there are potted Begonia plants throughout the year here in this green house facility.
There was a large field with a sea of blooming tulips. It was very spectacular, how we wished we have more time in this piece of land.
While waiting for the light lit-up, we spent off the shopping vouchers for food, beer and souvenirs. Each ticket comes with 2 pieces of ¥500 vouchers (this may be only available during winter illumination season which start from mid-October to May).
It was Tulip season and tulips were infused in ice cream! Tulips ice cream didn’t have a very distinguish flavour as compared to rose or lavender. However, it was a good try to me, sweet but not overpowering.
What I loved most were these Mulled Wine and Gyoza.
Soon after sunset, it is the time where the whole park lit up with beautiful lights. There are two main tunnels of light here. You can stroll through it to get all the beautiful photos and insta-worthy photos.
光のトンネルor known as the stunning Brilliant Road, is the 200-meter illuminated tunnel. Soon you pass through the Brilliant Road, it leads you to the theme show of the year,” Kumamon’s hometown dream in Kumamoto”; highlighting the beauty of Kumamoto through the light illumination. There is also an observation deck which allows the visitors to catch the better view of light show. It can be really pack, do head over earlier to get the best standing point for yourself.
After you have done with the show, you will pass through the 100-meter illuminated tunnel with sakura shaped bulbs, flickering from soft pastel pink to green, indicating the growth of the plant after the cherry blossom blooming in spring.
I advise you guys to visit this park in the afternoon, say depart from Nagoya at 3 – 3.30pm, be around at the park at 4pm, take a stroll in the park and wait until the lights are all up. Therefore, you will be able to enjoy two different sights, the day with florals and the night with light illumination at one price.
Weather can be really chilling and cold especially after sunset in April. Remember to prepare yourself a warm clothing or trench coat.
Nabana no Sato
270 Komae-urushibata, Nagashima-cho,
Kuwana-shi, Mie Prefecture 511-1144
Opening hours: 9am to 9pm