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4 Must-Visit Spots for Beautiful Pink Moss Phlox Carpets in Hokkaido: Monthlong 'Floor Sakura' Viewing

4 Must-Visit Spots for Beautiful Pink Moss Phlox Carpets in Hokkaido: Monthlong 'Floor Sakura' Viewing

Date published: 27 February 2024

While cherry blossoms are a famous spring sight, their blooming period is brief, often ending before many realize. An alternative recommendation for flower viewing is the "Shibazakura" (moss phlox), which can be enjoyed from mid-May to mid-June.

True to its name, it spreads like grass and bears cherry blossom-like pink flowers. Though each flower is small, when they bloom en masse, they create a carpet-like spread that beautifully colors the landscape. Here are four recommended spots for Shibazakura in Hokkaido

(Main image: Photo by Kutchan Tourist Association)

Table of Contents
  1. Where can you see Shibazakura in Hokkaido?
  2. Best time to visit Hokkaido for shibazakura & peak season
  3. 1. Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park: A 10-Hectare Pink Carpet
  4. 2. Shibazakura Takinoue Park: Starting from a Single Crate of Seedlings
  5. 3. Mishima-san's Shibazakura Garden: Privately Owned!? Beautiful Collaboration with Mount Yotei
  6. 4. Taiyou-no-Oka Engaru Park: Vast Hills Painted Pink
  7. Hokkaido shibazakura can be enjoyed for a long time!

Where can you see Shibazakura in Hokkaido?

(Photo: PIXTA)
(Photo: PIXTA)

Hokkaido is dotted with spots to view Shibazakura, with the Eastern area, in particular, boasting famous sites like Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park and Takinoue Shibazakura Park. Thanks to its abundant nature, Hokkaido's Shibazakura fields are harmoniously integrated into the vast hilly terrains and mountains, offering stunning natural landscapes that are unique to the region.

However, many of these spots are located far from urban areas like Sapporo, and access can be inconvenient without a car. It's recommended to plan with plenty of time to spare. Investigating local flight options from New Chitose Airport to get closer to these destinations might also save time and be worth considering for a more efficient visit to these spectacular Shibazakura displays.

Best time to visit Hokkaido for shibazakura & peak season

(Photo: PIXTA)
(Photo: PIXTA)

Hokkaido's cooler climate compared to other regions of Japan means that Shibazakura blooms later there, but the flowers also last longer without scattering as quickly as cherry blossoms. The typical blooming period is from mid-May to mid-June, with the end of May to the beginning of June being the optimal time to enjoy the vibrant Shibazakura fields. However, blooming and peak viewing times can vary depending on weather and temperature, so it's advisable to check the latest information on official websites or social media channels of the specific locations you plan to visit.

May to June is also a pleasant and warmer period in Hokkaido, making it a great time to enjoy not only Shibazakura but also tulips, canola flowers, and lilacs, which is a symbol of Sapporo. Visiting various flower fields across the region could enhance your travel experience.

Given the potential for significant temperature fluctuations depending on the area, time, and weather, taking precautions like bringing a light jacket for cold protection can make your sightseeing more comfortable. Also, as the sun can be strong on clear days, don't forget to protect yourself against sunburn.

1. Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park: A 10-Hectare Pink Carpet

(Photo courtesy of the Okhotsk Oku-cho Tourist Association, a non-profit organization)
(Photo courtesy of the Okhotsk Oku-cho Tourist Association, a non-profit organization)

Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park in Ozora Town is one of Hokkaido's premier destinations for viewing moss phlox. Its origins date back to 1977, starting with just a handful of plants sown by local farmers with the vision of blooming beautiful flowers on the site. Over the years, these efforts have expanded, and now the park boasts a vast Shibazakura field covering 10 hectares. By late May to early June, the hills are awash in a stunning pink hue.

Visitors can explore the expansive park aboard a sightseeing car (500 yen for middle school students and above, 200 yen for elementary school students, one-way). From the base of the hill to the summit, the ride offers a leisurely pace to enjoy the panoramic views of the park's sprawling Shibazakura landscape.

(Photo courtesy of the Okhotsk Oku-cho Tourist Association, a non-profit organization)
(Photo courtesy of the Okhotsk Oku-cho Tourist Association, a non-profit organization)

Midway up the hill within Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park, you'll find Yamazumi Shrine, dedicated to the mountain gods. Its pink torii gate, in harmony with the moss phlox, serves as a popular photo spot, captivating visitors with its scenic beauty. Coinciding with the peak bloom, the park hosts the an annual Shibazakura Festival, bringing added vibrancy with song stages and other events, particularly on weekends, drawing crowds and enhancing the festive atmosphere of the season.

Recommended Tours

Recommended accommodations close to Higashimokoto Park

2. Shibazakura Takinoue Park: Starting from a Single Crate of Seedlings

(Photo courtesy of Takigami Town)
(Photo courtesy of Takigami Town)

Located approximately 4 hours by car from Sapporo using the expressway, Takinoue Town in Northern Hokkaido is a small community of about 2,500 people, primarily engaged in agriculture and forestry. While usually a quiet town, it comes alive during the season when the hills are covered in pink Shibazakura, attracting visitors from afar.

Shibazakura Takinoue Park began its journey in 1957 with the planting of moss phlox from a single mandarin orange box, aiming to create a tourist destination centered around flowers. Through annual propagation efforts, the park has grown into a massive colony, now spanning over 100,000 square meters.

(Photo courtesy of Takigami Town)
(Photo courtesy of Takigami Town)

The blooming period at Shibazakura Takinoue Park lasts for about a month, from early May to early June, with the peak viewing time expected to be around mid-May. During the bloom, the "Takinoue Shibazakura Festival" takes place, featuring song shows, game competitions, and even scenic helicopter flights (for a fee). The vibrant pink flowers, with their sweet fragrance, envelop the town in beauty and aroma. Typically, Shibazakura flowers have five petals, but finding one with more is considered a sign of upcoming luck.

Recommended tours

Recommended accommodations near Shiba-Zakura Takinoue Park

3. Mishima-san's Shibazakura Garden: Privately Owned!? Beautiful Collaboration with Mount Yotei

(Photo courtesy of Kutchan Tourist Association)
(Photo courtesy of Kutchan Tourist Association)

Located about 130 minutes by car from Sapporo via local roads, the home garden of Mr. Mishima in Kutchan Town, generously opened to the public, is known as "Mishima-san's Shibazakura Garden." It has become a renowned spot heralding spring in Kutchan Town. Typically, the best viewing period is from late May to early June, when the garden, backed by the majestic Mt. Yotei and spanning approximately 4,000 square meters, bursts into vibrant bloom with Shibazakura and a variety of other colorful flowers.

(Photo courtesy of Kutchan Tourist Association)
(Photo courtesy of Kutchan Tourist Association)

Although Mishima-san's Shibazakura Garden is grand enough to be mistaken for a public park, all maintenance and care are personally undertaken by Mr. Mishima himself. Since it is private property, there is no designated parking space available for visitors. Those arriving by car are advised to park at Kutchan Park or Asahigaoka Comprehensive Park and are reminded to enjoy the garden responsibly, adhering to good manners such as not entering the flower beds.

Accommodations near Mishima-san's Shibazakura Garden
  • Mishima-san's Shibazakura Garden
    三島さんの芝ざくら庭園
    • Address 51 Asahi, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido 044-0083
    • ・Phone: 0136-22-3344 (Kutchan Tourist Information Center i-Center)
      ・Hours: Please call during reasonable hours as it's private property.
      ・Admisson: None
      ・Closed: None

4. Taiyou-no-Oka Engaru Park: Vast Hills Painted Pink

(Photo courtesy of Engaru Town Tourist Association)
(Photo courtesy of Engaru Town Tourist Association)

Located approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes by car from Sapporo using the expressway, the Taiyou-no-Oka Engaru Park in Engaru Town is developed as a park spanning from the hilltop to the foothills. From mid-May to early June, the moss phlox is in full bloom, covering the entire area in pink, and you can also enjoy the collaboration with tulips. Although the size of the flower fields is relatively small, it means fewer tourists, allowing for a leisurely and recommended viewing experience.

(Photo courtesy of Engaru Town Tourist Association)
(Photo courtesy of Engaru Town Tourist Association)

At Taiyou-no-Oka Engaru Park, further up from the Rainbow Plaza, you'll find a public observation area, where approximately 300 cattle graze. On clear days, you can enjoy sweeping views of the Yubetsu Plain and the Sea of Okhotsk from the observation deck. Take in the magnificent Hokkaido scenery to your heart's content.

Recommended accommodations near Taiyou-no-Oka Engaru Park
  • Taiyou-no-Oka Engaru Park
    太陽の丘えんがる公園
    • Address Togaru-cho, Monbetsu-gun, Hokkaido, 099-0400
    • ・Phone: 0158-42-8360 (Engaru Town Tourist Association)
      ・Hours: 9 AM - 5 PM
      ・Admission: None
      ・Closed: None

Hokkaido shibazakura can be enjoyed for a long time!

(Photo courtesy of Engaru Town Tourist Association)
(Photo courtesy of Engaru Town Tourist Association)

From May to June each year, the moss phlox blooms in vibrant pink, making it easier to plan trips compared to cherry blossom season. This time of year offers various flower fields in full bloom, allowing you to fully enjoy the late spring of Hokkaido. While lesser-known spots may have fewer tourists, they may also be less accessible. Consider combining public transportation with taxis and allow ample time and budget for your travels to fully enjoy the experience.

(The information in this article is accurate as of February 2024. Please verify the latest information on official websites.)

Written by:

Masakazu Yoshida

Masakazu Yoshida

Residing in Sapporo, Masakazu has built his career in various private enterprises and government positions in Hokkaido. In April 2016, he transitioned from being a company employee to a freelance writer. Currently, Masakazu works as a freelance writer alongside other occupations, primarily focusing on showcasing the charm of Hokkaido through web media platforms.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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