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Base for Ashikaga and Hitachi Seaside? 2019/5/5 18:44
I am planning a short trip in Apr/May 2020 to visit Ashikaga flower park, Hitachi seaside park for nemophilia and Nara. Which will be a good base to explore these areas? I intend to fly in to Narita but I do not fancy staying in Tokyo. Intend to get a rental car at the airport and drive off. Also, any other areas to recommend to explore around these regions? My interests are nature, great landscape , flower and fruit parks and great Japanese food. arigatogosaimaz.
by sg (guest)  

Re: Base for Ashikaga and Hitachi Seaside? 2019/5/6 17:52
Nara is far away from the other two destinations (or did you mean Nikko??) so I assume that you will take the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto to get to Nara.
For the other two locations, possible places to stay might be Nikko or Sawara or also along the coast in Chiba, as you will have a car. This assumes that you will have at least 1 full day for Nikko, while for Sawara and Katori a half day would be enough.

You didn't tell us how many days you plan for the two parks. If you just want to see both in the same day, then the place where to sleep should depend on your following destination. E.g. if the next day you plan to go to Nara, I would continue after the Ashikaga flower park to Omiya or Kumagaya, return the car there, and then get the next morning a Shinkansen to Tokyo and then on to Kyoto. If you are in Kumagaya though the shrine there merits a visit.

Enjoy flower viewing in Japan!
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

Re: Base for Ashikaga and Hitachi Seaside? 2019/5/6 18:08
Thanks Likebike. Oops, I mean Nikko, not Nara.
Upon arrival, I will drive to Ashikaga flower park , apportioning 1 day each to the two parks and maybe two days for Nikko. So if I plan one week,I have got 2 or 3 days left. Maybe I can drive back to Narita and detour to see some pink moss near Mt Fuji ? Not sure they are in bloom then?
by Sg (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Base for Ashikaga and Hitachi Seaside? 2019/5/7 04:28
The first obvious cities you could stay in would be Mito or Tochigi City - but there is a huge space of land in between them, so anywhere there is fine. If you can go there in late April, your timing should be very good. You can also see azaleas, peonies, and tulips if the weather cooperates.
Aside from the places you mention, there is Kairakuen in Mito, the Isosaki Shrine in Oarai with the oceanside torii gate (best at high tide if possible), the Ibaraki Botanical Garden in Naka City. Plus the Tochigi Flower Center just a bit east of the Ashikaga Flower Park. Closer to Tokyo, there is also the Ushiku Great Buddha, which you'll likely find quite impressive.
https://www.japanvisitor.com/japan-temples-shrines/ushiku-daibutsu
You didn't mention how far you are willing to travel - the Kanto area, just the northern Kanto area, etc. But there are a lot more places of course. The Showa Kinen Park on the other side of Tokyo should satisfy you quite nicely, and don't be misled that Tokyo is all concrete - it has a dozen traditional gardens and many are the nation's best.
https://goo.gl/tAECfM

You could even catch the Denboin Garden, the "secret garden" at Sensoji Temple, which nobody goes to and is open only 2 months a year.
https://goo.gl/q5nDom

Plus Yokohama has one of the region's very finest gardens, the Sankeien Garden. Just exquisite.
https://youtu.be/rmEcl4_fZZs
by Ken (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Base for Ashikaga and Hitachi Seaside? 2019/5/7 05:23
Wow,Ken, great tips! I shall incorporate as much as possible in my itinerary. May have to extend my length of stay! Thank you very much.
by Sg (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Base for Ashikaga and Hitachi Seaside? 2019/5/7 11:50
In Chichibu, the Shibazakura are nice around the end of April:
https://japan-attractions.jp/nature/chichibu-shibazakura-festival/
by Rb (guest) rate this post as useful

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