Once the cherry blossoms fall, Japan bursts into colour with azaleas, peonies and wisteria creating a crescendo of colour unknown to most international travellers – and not to be missed!
This floral exuberance coincides with Japan’s Golden Week – a week in May when the entire country goes on a week-long holiday to celebrate.
The iconic snow-topped mountain is a backdrop to a blanket of flowers – 800,000 annual phlox in a vibrant shade of lipstick pink. These ‘moss phlox’ are called shibazakura in Japan, and the Fuji Shibazakura Festival is a floral must-see just two hours from Tokyo.
In May at the Hitachi Seaside Park the curving pathway to a brilliant view of the Pacific Ocean leads up a hill turned palest blue, courtesy of four million Baby Blue Eyes, or Nemophila. Almost as good as the flowers – the locals bringing their dogs (and sometimes cats) in prams for photo opportunities!
I took a quick ice cream break. Nemophila ice cream is a seasonal specialty available only in spring. I expected it to taste like blueberries, but it is actually ramune soda flavored. Around one side of the hill a number of yellow nanohana (rapeseed blossoms) were still blooming, creating a nice contrast with the blue blossoms
Watch Better Homes and Gardens on Friday 10th August to see Graham, the phlox and the most incredible vision of Mt Fuji we’ve ever seen!
Graham and Linda Ross from Ross Garden Tours visits these gardens every May as part of their spectacular 14 day Spring Festival Tour of Japan. For more information www.rosstours.com Phone 1300 233 200
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