Hitachi Seaside Park (ひたち海浜公園, Hitachi Kaihin Kōen) is a spacious park in Ibaraki Prefecture featuring a variety of green spaces and seasonal flowers spread out across 350 hectares, as well as an amusement park and several cycling and walking trails.
The park's iconic flower is the blue nemophila, which covers Miharashi Hill in the spring and mimics the color of the sky. The flowers are usually at their peak from late April to mid May. Paths crisscross the hill providing views over the Pacific Ocean and the rest of the park. In fall, the hill is covered by green kokia bushes which slowly turn red as the weather turns cooler. These autumnal colors are usually best from early to mid October.
Although the nemophila are the most well-known of the park's flowers, assorted other flowers bloom throughout most of the year. Near the park's main entrance is a large forested area featuring the Suisen Garden where narcissus usually bloom from mid March, while across the lake tulips bloom usually around late April.
Although flowers are seasonal highlights, the park can be enjoyed year round. There are walking trails through the extensive Hitachinaka Nature Forest, while the Dune Garden showcases plants native to the coastline of Japan. Even when the rest of the park is crowded, this area often remains relatively quiet.
Hitachi Seaside Park also features a small amusement park with over 25 rides and attractions, including a 100 meter tall Ferris wheel, putter golf, a BMX course and a roller coaster among others. Most of the rides and activities require extra fees. Restaurants and rest areas are scattered throughout the park, and a BBQ area is available for picnics.
Due to the size of the park, there are two other methods of getting around besides walking. Rental bicycles are available starting from 400 yen for three hours of use, and almost eleven kilometers of cycling paths - separate from pedestrian paths - allow easy access to the different areas of the park. A small train (on tires) also travels the perimeter of the park with stops at numerous locations. The train costs 550 yen for a 1-day pass.
Hitachi Seaside Park is located in Hitachinaka, a city about 130 kilometers northwest of Tokyo. From central Tokyo (Shinagawa, Tokyo and Ueno Station), take the JR Joban Line to Katsuta Station (about 80 minutes, around 3800 yen one way by limited express train or two hours and 2270 yen one way by local trains, both covered by the Japan Rail Pass and Tokyo Wide Pass) and transfer to a bus to the park (15 minutes, 400 yen, not covered by JR passes, departures every 20-30 minutes).
By highway bus
9:30 to 18:00 (July 21 to August 31)
9:30 to 16:30 (November 1 to February 28)