Travel to 3 Flower Parks in Japan - Day 1

May 03, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

While there are ongoing restrictions on travelling to Japan, I would like to share some previous travel stories and photos with you. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit some amazing flower parks in Japan, three of which were on my "bucket list" of places to see in person. Luckily, I was in relatively good timing to catch the flowers in bloom and had warm, clear weather for photography.

 

As the flowers reached their peak bloom the week before I arrived, I decided to visit the 3 parks in 3 consecutive days to maximize my photo opportunities. These day-trips from Tokyo started the day after I landed at Haneda airport (after a 13 hour flight from Toronto), so there was little time for me to feel jet-lagged.

 

Camera backpack with fully-charged batteries and empty memory cards, I headed out on the train to Hitachi Seaside Park. This park by the sea is famous for its blue nemophila flowers, especially on days when the sky is a matching blue colour, and the flowers blend in with the sky into an amazing sight! Of course, with the park's popularity amongst local visitors and tourists, the scene becomes interrupted by the crowds of people enjoying the park. There are a few lone trees (strategically planted, I believe) to act as focal points for photos. If I could have visited a week earlier, there would be a complete sea of blue flowers, while green patches were now interspersed with the blue. Nonetheless, I'm happy to have seen and experienced this park.

 

Hitachi Seaside Park - Lone Tree with Blue Nemophila FlowersHitachi Seaside Park - Lone Tree with Blue Nemophila Flowers

 

Hitachi Seaside Park - Blue Nemophila FlowersHitachi Seaside Park - Blue Nemophila FlowersThe sky wasn't so blue at this time, but its pale colour highlighted the baby blue colour of the nemophila flowers.

 

Flowers of the Sky (Sora no Hana)Flowers of the Sky (Sora no Hana)Nemophila flowers (also known as Baby Blue Eyes) cover the gently sloping hill, forming a uniform scene with the blue sky. Part of my art series combining calligraphy with images captured in Japan.
 

I was surprised to find some poppies blowing in the wind amongst the blue fields. Although the nemophila flowers were planted (not wild) and the park is well tended to, I'm glad they didn't pluck out the poppies, so I could make this photo below. The photo below and the one above became part of my Art Series "Japan + Shodo" where I combined images from Japan with their titles which I wrote in Japanese calligraphy. To view the other images in this series please visit this gallery.

 

Colour of Wind (Kaze no Iro)Colour of Wind (Kaze no Iro)Orange poppies can be found here and there amongst the sea of blue nemophila flowers. Standing taller than the baby blue eyes, dots of orange sway in the wind. Part of my art series combining calligraphy with images captured in Japan.
 

Another interesting sight was 3 girls dressed in angelic outfits having their photos taken against the park's sea of blue background. I captured them as they were getting ready for a selfie.

 

Hitachi Seaside Park - Angels with Blue Nemophila FlowersHitachi Seaside Park - Angels with Blue Nemophila FlowersIn addition to the attraction of the blue nemophila flowers at this park, three girls dressed as angels were another attraction that day.

After enjoying a walk up to the top of the hill and seeing the extent of the blue, I replenished my energy with a blue soda, paired with a chicken skewer (yakitori) and sweet potato chips.

 

Hitachi Seaside Park - Blue Drink and SnacksHitachi Seaside Park - Blue Drink and SnacksBesides the flowers that are blue in this park, this drink I had with my snacks was also blue. The snacks were a chicken yakitori skewer and sweet potato chips.

 

Later I walked over to the glass house cafe and had a cup of nemophila tea. The cafe, surrounded by glass and overlooking an infinity pond, had a light airy feel and a fantastic view that I could enjoy while sipping my tea.

 

Hitachi Seaside Park - Glass CafeHitachi Seaside Park - Glass CafeThe Glass Cafe at the Hitachi Seaside Park overlooking an infinity pond.

 

The tea had a beautiful light blue colour and a subtle plant flavour. The glass cup in which the tea was served had a matching botanical theme to suit. So pretty, isn't it?
 

Hitachi Seaside Park - Blue Nemophila Flower TeaHitachi Seaside Park - Blue Nemophila Flower TeaEnjoying a cup of blue tea made from nemophila flowers. The glass cup shows its blue colour beautifully.
 

Besides the attraction of the blue flowers, the park has other features such as this ferris wheel and a sight-seeing train. This park is also known for its amazing red colour in Autumn. I hope to visit next time in the fall season and share my photos with you.

  Hitachi Seaside Park - Ferris WheelHitachi Seaside Park - Ferris WheelThere's more to the Hitachi Seaside Park than the blue flowers, including this ferris wheel.

 

Hitachi Seaside Park - Sightseeing TrainHitachi Seaside Park - Sightseeing TrainThere's more to the Hitachi Seaside Park than the blue flowers, including this sight-seeing train.

 

Before heading back to Tokyo, I took a ride on a local train along the Minato line, where each station name has its own design to match its local specialty. The train has a cute design too! 

 

Hitachinaka Seaside Railway Station Sign - AjigauraHitachinaka Seaside Railway Station Sign - AjigauraThe Hitachinaka Seaside Railway Minato Line in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. This local train line has decorative station signs at each of its 11 stations. The train itself has a cute design too!
Train on Hitachinaka Seaside Railway Minato LineTrain on Hitachinaka Seaside Railway Minato Line

 

This decorative owl watches sternly over the station sign at Tonoyama station.

 

Hitachinaka Seaside Railway Station Sign - TonoyamaHitachinaka Seaside Railway Station Sign - TonoyamaEach station on this local train line in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, has a decorative design for its name written in kanji.

 

The Kaneage station sign has a military-theme design. I have photos of each of the 11 station signs but I'll let you explore this train line and find the remaining signs. 

 

Hitachinaka Seaside Railway Station Sign - KaneageHitachinaka Seaside Railway Station Sign - KaneageEach station on this local train line in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, has a decorative design for its name written in kanji.

 

Do you like the cute cat in the Nakaminato station sign below? I didn't see many cats in Nakaminato, but there must be lots around, especially with the fish market in town!
 

Hitachinaka Seaside Railway Station Sign - NakaminatoHitachinaka Seaside Railway Station Sign - NakaminatoEach station on this local train line in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, has a decorative design for its name written in kanji.

 

I quickly visited a quaint glass art shop and local fish market in Nakaminato before they closed for the day. In the town, even the street signs have graphically-decorated designs, along with the fish market sign decorated with all kinds of seafood that's sold there.
 

Direction Signs in Town of NakaminatoDirection Signs in Town of NakaminatoAside from the train station signs, the directional street signs in the town of Nakaminato are also decorated.

 

Fish Market Sign in Town of NakaminatoFish Market Sign in Town of NakaminatoThe fish market sign in the town of Nakaminato is also decorated with the types of seafood that can be found in the market.
Seafood at Nakaminato Fish MarketSeafood at Nakaminato Fish Market

 

After spending a day exploring the park and the local area, I took the train back to Tokyo and was awarded by this view - the sun setting behind the mountains casting its orange glow over the rice paddies. A perfect ending to a perfect day!

 

Sunset on Rice PaddiesSunset on Rice PaddiesAfter spending a day at Hitachi Seaside Park where I was rewarded with the sea of blue nemophila flowers, I was further rewarded by this sunset over the rice paddies.
 

For the second day of my flower park visits, please see my next blog post...coming soon!

 


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