Spring in Japan is full of flower excitement. When the highly anticipated sakura season is over and you did not manage to get a glimpse of it, something is still in store for you. The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese! A flower festival known as the Shibazakura Festival would be held across Japan from mid-April to late May, celebrating the bloom season of many little adorable shibazakura 芝桜 flowers or moss phlox.
When this small five-petal flower is grown thickly on the ground, it could cover the ground like a carpet. The flowers come in a variety of colours which is white, purple, and different degrees of pink. Shibazakura may be small in size, but when you see a park filled with this flower, you would be in awe of the sight you see before you.
In Japan, there are a few places where you could enjoy the sight of shibazakura in full bloom. Let’s find out where these places are and how to get there.
1. Takinoue Park
Shibazakura, a petite and adorable five-petal flower.
Hokkaido is a famous location for winter attraction, summer lavender flowers, but little did travellers know it also has a spring charm. Every May, shibazakura in Takinoue Park will bloom and the hillside here will turn into a sea of pink. If you want to view flowers, there is a windy walking path that cuts across this hillside. It would nevertheless be a pleasant walk with plenty of opportunities to take beautiful pictures.
The Takinoue Park is located in Monbetsu-gun, which is a two-hour drive from Asahikawa by car. The park is also accessible by bus from Asahikawa Chuo Bus Terminal.
Although the blooming period for shibazakura is usually from mid-April to late May, due to the climate in Hokkaido, the flowers bloom slightly later, which is from early May onwards.
Festival Period: Early May – early June
Address: Motomachi, Takinoue-cho, Monbetsu-gun 099-5604, Hokkaido
Opening Hours: 8 AM – 6 PM
Admission Fee: TBA
2. Fuji Motosuko Resort
Fuji Motosuko Resort is where the Fuji Shibazakura Festival, the well-known shibazakura festival in Japan, is held annually. Here you could find 800,000 shibazakura planted in an area with the sight of a gorgeous Mt. Fuji in a distance. Some even call this a shibazakura haven.
The closest train station to Fuji Motosuko Resort is the Kawaguchiko Station. From there, you have to board the Shibazakura Liner bus and alight at Fuji Shibazakura Festival Site. The bus journey would take about 30 minutes.
Fuji Motosuko Resort
Fuji Shibazakura Festival Period: 14 April – 27 May
Address: 212 Motosu, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru Yamanashi
Opening Hours: 8 AM – 5 PM
Admission Fee: 600 yen (Adult), 250 yen (Children younger than 15 years old)
3. Hitsujiyama Park
The field of shibazakura looks like a piece of art from afar.
Apart from Hokkaido and Shizuoka prefectures, you could also view shibazakura at Hitsujiyama Park in Saitama Prefecture. It is much closer to Tokyo and if you prefer not to travel all the way to Shizuoka, this would be your best alternative for hanami.
The Chichibu Shibazakura Festival is the event to celebrate the blooming of moss phloxes here. The specific location where shibazakura are planted is called the Rishan Park, which is towards the left corner of the park. There are 400,000 shibazakura planted here with 9 types of varieties. And of course, you could also find Tama-no-Nagare here.
Chichibu Shibazakura Festival Period: 13 April – 6 May
Address: 6360 Oyama, Chichibu 368-0023, Saitama Prefecture
Opening Hours: 8 AM – 5 PM
Admission Fee: 300 yen (Adults), Free for children (15 years old and younger)
The sight of these beautiful shibazakura flowers could easily cheer up your mood as you see the field stretch before you. So if you are travelling to Japan during mid-April to late May, grab this opportunity to visit any of these locations!
Whether you are travelling solo, with a partner or with a family and kids, the colours of these flowers would delight any traveller. The sight of flower carpets stretching out before you is a memory worth to be cherished for years to come!