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Seasons are a main theme in the Japanese culture. Flowers are like mirrors to the seasons, reflecting the passage of time. Fittingly, flower viewing is a very popular activity in Japan as most prominently seen in the annual festivities surrounding the cherry blossoms, but not limited to them.

The following chart shows the approximate blooming periods for some of the most popular flowers in Japan. One point to note is that because Japan extends north to south for some 3500 kilometers, a particular flower species might blossom at differing times across regions with varying climate. The chart serves as a rough reference for the country in general. It is recommended to check on details for specific locations before visiting.

Popular types of flowers

Plum Blossoms (Ume)
Typically mid February through March (Tokyo)
Cherry Blossoms (Sakura)
Typically late March to mid April (Tokyo)
Tulips
Typically late April to early May (Tonami, Toyama)
Pink Moss (Shibazakura)
Typically mid April to mid May (Fujigoko)
Wisteria (Fuji)
Typically late April to early May (Tokyo)
Roses (Bara)
Typically the month of May (Tokyo)
Hydrangea (Ajisai)
Typically mid June to mid July (Kamakura, Hakone)
Irises (Hanashobu)
Typically the month of June (Tokyo)
Sunflowers (Himawari)
Typically early July to early August (Hokkaido)
Lavender
Typically mid July to early August (Hokkaido)
Autumn Colors (Koyo)
Typically mid September to early December (Nationwide)

Flower related places of interest

There are many places in Japan where various species of flowers can be appreciated at different times of the year. Flower parks and botanical gardens are usually great locations for flower viewing. Some temples and shrines may also be famous for particular flowers. Below is a list of places which are popular for flower viewing.

See also our pages on cherry blossom, plum blossom and autumn color spots.

Hokkaido

Furano Flower Fields

Known for: Lavender and sunflowers
The flower fields of Furano offer a wide variety of flowers from May to October; however, the region is most famous for its lavender which attracts large numbers of visitors every summer, when the plants are in full bloom.

Biei

Known for: Lavender and various flowers
The rolling hills of Biei are home to multiple flower parks with various flower fields. Some can be enjoyed not only by walking along the trails, but also by renting golf or buggy carts or taking a ride on tractor-pulled wagons.

Around Tokyo

Tambara Flower Park

Known for: Lavender
Tambara Flower Park is located in Gunma Prefecture. Over 50,000 lavender bushes are planted on the Tambara plateau, creating a spectacular lavender flower park in the summer. The area is a ski resort in the winter.

Gunma Flower Park

Known for: Various flowers
Gunma Flower Park offers an extensive collection of flower varieties which bloom during different seasons, including tulips, irises and roses.

Ashikaga Flower Park

Known for: Wisteria
One of the best places to view wisteria is the Ashikaga Flower Park in Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture. Ashikaga Flower Park features lots of blue, white and pink wisteria, as well as yellow laburnum (Japanese: kingusari) that look like yellow colored wisteria.

Hitachi Seaside Park

Known for: Nemophila and other flowers
The huge park outside of Mito features large fields of flowers during much of the year. Among the most famous displays are the fields of nemophila around late April to mid May and the red kokia bushes around early to mid October.

Chichibu Hitsujiyama Park

Known for: Pink Moss
This park features wide fields of pink moss in almost ten varieties and colors. The flowers are strategically planted to produce delightful designs across the fields. From the northern end of the park, gorgeous views of pink moss with Mount Buko in the backdrop can be seen.

Kameido Shrine

Known for: Wisteria
Kameido Shrine in Tokyo is a great place to view wisteria. Every year, thousands of people visit the shrine to appreciate the wisteria, which bloom from late April to early May.

Meigetsuin Temple

Known for: Hydrangea and irises
Meigetsuin is also known as "Ajisaidera", meaning "Hydrangea Temple". This is because hydrangea bloom in abundance at the temple during the rainy season around June, and they usually attract large numbers of visitors.

Hase Temple

Known for: Hydrangea
Hasedera is famous for its huge statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. Every summer, huge crowds come to the temple to visit its hydrangea garden. Long queues may be expected due to the popularity of the hydrangea.

Hakone Tozan Railway

Known for: Hydrangea
A ride on the Hakone Tozan Railway, Japan's oldest mountain railway, is a treat for more than just railway fans. The ride is especially beautiful in June and July when thousands of hydrangea are in bloom along the tracks and are illuminated during the evenings.

Gora Park

Known for: Roses
This is a western style landscape park located in Hakone, featuring a large fountain and a rose garden. Visitors can also take part in craft activities such as dried flower arrangement.

Boso Flower Line

Known for: Nanohana, poppies and other early spring flowers
The Boso Flower Line is a road that follows the southern coast of the Boso Peninsula between Tateyama and Chikura. Several flower farms and parks are located along the road which are particularly pretty from January to April. Its mild climate, makes the peninsula one of the earliest flower destinations each year.

Central Japan

Tonami Tulip Fair

Known for: Tulips
Held in late April and early May, the Tonami Tulip Fair is an annual festival held in Tonami City, the country's leading producer of tulip bulbs. It features large fields of tulips of many different varieties.

Nabana no Sato

Known for: Cherry blossoms, roses, tulips, hydrangea, irises
This is a park which provides great views of seasonal flowers throughout the year. Every spring, it hosts a flower festival which is claimed to be of the largest scale in Japan. Winter illuminations are held from mid November to early March. Nabana no Sato is part of Nagashima Resort, which features the famous amusement park Nagashima Spaland.

Around Osaka

Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park

Known for: Cherry blossoms, roses, tulips
Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park located in Osaka is a great place to view cherry blossoms. The large park hosted the International Garden and Greenery Exposition in 1990, and features many gardens of various countries.

Shikoku

Makino Botanical Garden

Known for: Irises and various flowers
Makino Botanical Garden in Kochi includes extensive walking paths, outdoor parks and a greenhouse. The spacious garden has various flowers on display.

Kyushu

Page last updated: July 18, 2013