by Sam, staff writer of japan-guide.com
2017/04/24 - Nemophila flowers at Hitachi Seaside Park
Today saw me at Hitachi Seaside Park to check out the blue nemophila flowers that the park is famous for as they come into bloom around this time of year. The spacious park is located in the city of Hitachinaka, Ibaraki Prefecture and can be reached from central Tokyo in around two to two and a half hours by train and then bus, making for a great day trip idea for flower fanatics staying in the capital.
I arrived this morning as the park was opening but still was met with crowds and a line to buy a ticket. Luckily the process of buying a ticket here is quite streamlined with multiple ticket machines (with English options), and so I didn't have to stand in line for too long. After paying the 410 yen entry fee, I entered through the park's western gate and bolted for the main attraction, Miharashi Hill.
Providing for picturesque scenes at various points throughout the year, Miharashi Hill is particularly popular come late April to mid May, when its iconic nemophila flowers come into bloom and turn the mound a beautiful sky blue color. The hill is dissected by crisscrossing paths that meander up to the hilltop and make the ascent considerably less steep and therefore easier for less-strong walkers. From the top of the hill, views can be had of the Pacific Ocean and the rest of the park.
The scenes on the hill this morning were pretty spectacular, with the nemophila looking to be on the verge of full bloom with just a small percentage of flowers yet to open. I asked one of the park staff and she kindly revealed that the nemophila here are set to be in their optimum state all this week, providing the weather stays calm and the petals aren't damaged by strong wind and rain. Bustling, but not overcrowded due to the vastness of the park, I definitely recommend the hill as presently a great place for flower fans. At the bottom there were also a smattering of bright yellow nanohana flowers that contrasted very nicely with the blue.
Following my jaunt up Miharashi Hill, I made the short walk over to Suisen Garden near the main entrance. The area is known for its over 600 varieties of daffodil that generally come into bloom from mid-March to mid-April. Considerably quieter than the hustle and bustle of the hill, the garden was nice to stroll around, although the majority of the flowers seemed to be in various stages of decline, with some varieties looking just a little past their peak whilst others were very much withered.
From the park I headed to the Egg Forest which showcases many different kinds of tulip among, curiously, large model eggs. The atmosphere in this area was one of excitement with the buzz of chatter and the snapping of camera shutters as visitors took in the tulips, which looked great. There were many different colors including reds, purples, whites and yellows, all with a more vivid hue than the equally spectacular but softer nemophila on Miharashi Hill.