(written by: Willy Yanto Wijaya)
The sakura season lasts only around two weeks, from late March until early April in most areas in Japan. Therefore, if you happen to visit Japan during late April or May, chance is that you have missed out the sakura. Well, if you still insist of seeing sakura, actually you can go to further northern parts of Japan where sakura still blooms in late April till early May.
However, if your itinerary only allows you to travel around Kanto Areas (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, Ibaraki and its surroundings), there are still some other Spring flowers attractions you might consider.
Here I pick up three nice spots to enjoy the flowers of late Spring in Japan (there are of course some other good spots as well, please write in the comments section if you wanna add some =)
1. Showa Kinen Park ( 昭和記念公園 )
This Park features a nice tulip flower festival till late April, and poppy flowers around middle of May. The nearest train station is Nishi Tachikawa Station. Details can be read at: http://www.showakinenpark.go.jp/english/
Entrance fee is 410 yen for adult and 80 yen for children (elementary and junior high school students), and free for children younger than elementary school as well as free for people with disability.
Actually in one year, there are some dates the entrance fee is FREE for ALL, for example I went there in 13 April 2014 which was designated as Promotion of Greenery Day from the city council (the exact date may change every year, please see: http://www.showakinenpark.go.jp/info2.htm).
2. Hitachi Seaside Park ( ひたち海浜公園 )
The famous attraction of this park is its baby-blue-eyes flowers (nemophila) blooming in May. This park is actually quite far from Tokyo, located in Hitachi-naka City in Ibaraki Prefecture.
Details how to get there: http://en.hitachikaihin.go.jp/access.html
Entrance fee and other info: http://en.hitachikaihin.go.jp/information.html
There are also several dates free entrance for all, which can be read in the Japanese language version of the website above. I went there during the Golden Week holidays which were very crowded with people..
3. Fuji Shibazakura ( 富士芝桜 )
Shibazakura is the Moss phlox flower covering the soil turning it into degradation colors of pink, light pink, and white in harmony. Fuji Shibazakura strong point is that it combines this beauty with the magnificent Mt. Fuji.
During the shibazakura festival, you can take direct bus from Shinjuku to the shibazakura spot. However number of direct buses are quite limited, thus most probably you need to take bus (1750 yen one way) or train to Kawaguchiko Station first, and then take the vicinity bus (1900 yen two ways include entrance ticket)
Details of how to get there and other info can be read at their official website: http://www.shibazakura.jp/eng/
Amazing views, right?
Therefore, don’t be disappointed even if you have missed sakura.. 😉