When it comes to spring in Japan, most people immediately think of cherry blossoms. The short-lived flowers are an iconic phenomenon, but there’s one place near Tokyo that boasts an equally breathtaking spring scenery. At Hitachi Seaside Park, thousands of Nemophila (or baby blue eyes) cover the vast park, making the place look like it came right out of a fairytale. In 2018, the Nemophila season is a bit earlier than usual, spanning roughly two weeks from April 9. Peak season is right about now, so if you’re not convinced yet that you need to make your way to Hitachi Seaside Park, allow us to change your mind.
Miharashi Hill: Where the Heavens Merge With the Land
Nemophila is a flower of the forget-me-not family and originally native to North America. It is known for its beautiful blue blossoms during spring, where its common name of “baby blue eyes” comes from. Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki Prefecture is known for its vast fields of these flowers and draws in visitors from all over Japan and all around the world every spring. A JR express train followed by a bus take you there in around 1.5 hours.
Especially beautiful is Miharashi Hill, where around 4.5 million individual nemophila create a scenery that looks like the sky is melting into the land. The hill is about a 15-minute walk from the park’s west gate and its flowery gloriousness can be enjoyed from mid-April to early May – in 2018, about two weeks from April 9.
So Many Other Spring Flowers!
Nemophila aren’t the only flowers that transform Hitachi Seaside Park into a one-of-a-kind spring paradise. From mid- to late April, tulips also blossom in various vivid colors at the Tamago no Mori (“Egg Forest”) Flower Garden. You’ll find small windmills and all sorts of egg-shaped objects scattered throughout the garden, making the scenery of 2.5 million tulips all the more breathtaking. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a gnome in a fairytale, you’ve come to the right place.
Another stunning phenomenon are the rape blossoms, blooming right next to the blue nemophila. Traditional, wooden-roofed houses create the flowery landscape into something uniquely Japanese. About 1 million daffodils of 500 different varieties provide for yet another colorful spell that Hitachi Seaside Park is going to cast in you. Those blossom between late March to mid-April.
Take a Break at the Kinen no Mori Rest House
After strolling through the park and taking in its breathtaking beauty, you’re ready for a snack! Head over to the Kinen no Mori Rest House (10:00 a.m. ~ one hour before the park closes). There, a variety of original sweets, as well as coffee and tea specialties rejuvenate every tired traveler! The hand-dripped coffee specialties are particularly popular. During spring, however, the must-order item is the Nemophila Blue Latte that actually isn’t coffee but brewed with blue flower herbs and colored with Butterfly Pea (Clitoria ternatea).
Hitachi Seaside Park, Beautiful Throughout the Year
Hitachi Seaside Park spreads over about 2 million square meters and is home to numerous fun, beautiful, and relaxing spots to discover. It features seven areas in total. The Pleasure Garden and its little amusement park is one of them, offering you a bit of thrill with a 100-meter high Ferris wheel and a roller coaster. Other than that, there’s the Rinkan Athletic Plaza, a BMX course, a Disc Golf Course, and many more.
Spring at Hitachi Seaside Park means blossoming tulips and nemophila, while summer brings roses, Zinnia flowers, and sunflowers. Autumn boasts its own flower scenery with cosmos and kokia, while winter’s ice tulips are an exceptional sight to behold as well. Enjoy the seaside train that circles the entire park (500 yen per 1-day ticket) or rent a bicycle (from 400 yen for 3 hours, from 500 yen for a full day) to make the most out of your park experience.
Hitachi Seaside Park - A Wonderful Day Trip
If you need a break from busy Tokyo, Hitachi Seaside Park is the perfect spot for a wonderfully relaxed and scenic day trip. Don’t miss the fairytale-like color variety of spring and feel the gentle breeze as you cycle along the fields of flowers!
Regular: 450 yen (500 yen for a 2-day ticket)
Seniors (65+): 210 yen (250 yen for a 2-day ticket)
Free for junior high students and younger.
Hours: 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (open until 6:00 p.m. between July 21 and August 31; open until 4:30 p.m. between November 1 and end of February)
Closed: Mondays (or the following day in case of a national holiday); December 31, January 1. From the second Monday in January to the following Friday.
※Open every day between March 26 – May 31, July 21 – August 31, throughout October, December 25 – 30.
Access: Katsuta Station (JR Joban Line), East Exit Bus Stop 2’s Ibarakikotsu Bus to Hitachi Seaside Park South Entrance (about 17~23 minutes)
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