While spring may be the best time to see cherry blossoms, tulips and wisteria, summer is when himawari (sunflowers) get their time to shine. You’ll find a number of sprawling fields in and around Greater Tokyo, where you can stroll through rows and rows of colourful sunflowers, eat sunflower-themed food, and even enjoy a sunflower maze.
The best time to see the flowers is from July through to the end of August, but some late blooming varieties will still be around in September. Here are our top sunflower spots to check out this summer.
Showa Kinen Park, Tokyo
This massive park in Tachikawa is where you can enjoy a unique hybrid variety of sunflowers known as Asteraceae. Currently, the flowers have already started to bloom at Herb Hill near the park's Momoji Bridge. There’s even a cute photo spot where you can snap a few Instagram pics at the blue door in the middle of the field. This type of sunflower grows lower to the ground compared to other sunflower varieties, so it makes for a great spot if you’ve got younger kids. For the current status of the flowers, visit here.
Yokosuka Soleil Hill, Kanagawa
The annual Sunflower Festival at this park in Yokosuka is always a stunner. The seaside park boasts 100,000 sunflowers from mid-July to mid-August and you might even be able to spot Mt Fuji in the distance over Sagami Bay. The free festival is currently on until Sunday August 22, and there’s also sunflower themed activities and food to enjoy while you’re on the grounds. For the current status of the flowers, visit here.
Narita Dream Farm, Chiba
Enjoy two different varieties of sunflowers at this gorgeous ranch out in Narita where approximately 90,000 sunflowers are in bloom. The highlight of the farm is the winding sunflower maze where you can stroll along paths in between the blooms. During your visit, you can also sample a seasonal sunflower-themed menu (available until August 31), which includes dishes such as sunflower curry, a sunflower pizza, and a cold dan dan noodle dish.
The farm is currently open until the end of August (dates depend on weather and flowering conditions) and you can enter the ranch for just ¥350. For the current status of the flowers, visit here.
Tokorozawa Sunflower Field, Saitama
This sunflower field out in Saitama is located around Sayama Hills, the forest most famous as the inspiration for Studio Ghibli’s ‘My Neighbor Totoro’. The flowers here are late bloomers (as of August 9, the flowers have still not opened), but are expected to be in bloom by August 15. The field is home to approximately 20,000 sunflowers and it’s free to attend (parking is also free of charge). Currently, the field will be open from August 14 to 31. For the current status of the flowers, visit here.
Endo Farm, Saitama
Endo Farm out in Saitama is home to brilliant sunflower fields as well as a bee farm that makes fresh honey from the sunflowers. At peak bloom, the field sees approximately 1 million sunflowers across ten different areas and also includes a sunflower maze. The area is completely free to enter and will be open until August 28. For a tasty souvenir, don’t forget to pick up some honey before you leave. To see the current status of the flowers, visit here.
Akeno Himawari Festival, Ibaraki
The Akeno Himawari Festival in Ibaraki prefecture sits on a sprawling four hectares of land and boasts about 1 million sunflowers with a spectacular view of Mt Tsukuba in the background. The flowers here bloom a bit later in the summer – the festival begins on August 28 and runs until September 5. Entrance to the festival is free, but do note there is a charge of ¥500 per car if you are planning to drive and park at the field. For the current status of the flowers, visit here.
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