The Tonami Tulip Fair (となみチューリップフェア) is an annual flower festival held in Tonami City near Takaoka in Toyama Prefecture. Taking place in the Tonami Tulip Park, the fair lasts for two weeks in late April and early May and showcases some three million tulips of all colors and varieties.
Tonami is situated directly south of Takaoka and has a tulip history dating back to 1918 when cultivation of the flower first began in the area. Today, the city is Japan's leading producer of tulip bulbs, growing over 250 varieties of the flower. The annual tulip fair is held to celebrate Tonami's floral endeavors and as an homage to the tulip in general.
The fair is comprised of various areas that include several large flowerbeds with a plethora of colorful tulips that can be viewed from various elevated platforms (including a tulip-shaped observation tower), a picturesque pond on which flowerbeds float, a corner that showcases the hundreds of different tulip varieties accompanied by explanations (in Japanese) and the Tulip Aroma Garden made up of particularly fragrant varieties.
The Tonami Tulip Gallery (Tulip Shikisaikan) is a large exhibition hall that is part of the tulip fair, but is also open outside of the fair, allowing visitors to view tulips indoors around the year. Besides displays of actual flowers, the gallery includes a museum explaining anything you ever want to know about tulips and tulip cultivation. Some explanations in English are provided.
From Takaoka Station or Shin-Takaoka Station, take the JR Johana Line to Tonami Station (20-25 minutes, 240 yen one way, covered by the Japan Rail Pass, one train per hour). The Tonami Tulip Park is about one kilometer northeast of the station. During the duration of the fair, free shuttle buses run frequently between the station and the tulip park.