While spring brings an array of colourful blooms including cherry blossoms, tulips and wisteria, summer is the time for hydrangeas and bright yellow sunflowers. To welcome this season’s flowers, Yokosuka Soleil Hill at Nagai Seaside Park is hosting a Sunflower Festival boasting approximately 100,000 sunflowers from mid-July to early September.
The sprawling yellow sunflower field stretches over 5,000sqm and has sweeping views of the blue sea. On clear days, you might even be able to spot Mt Fuji in the distance over Sagami Bay. At first, the sunflowers may all look the same, but you’ll actually be able to spot four varieties growing here: Sunrich, Sunfinity, Sensation and SunBelievable.
The Soleil Sunflower Festival runs from Friday July 15 to Monday September 19 and you'll also be able to partake in several sunflower-related activities. Aside from strolling the flower fields, there'll be stamp rallies, a special food menu, baking and craft workshops, all related to the seasonal flower.
The festival is serving up a host of bright and cheerful dishes, including a Soleil Taco Rice (¥1,200) made into the shape of a sunflower at the park restaurant and the Sunflower Float (¥450), a refreshing drink made with orange juice and mango soft serve, available at the snack kiosk.
If you're looking to get hands-on at the festival, check out the sunflower melonpan making class (¥1,200 per person) or the sunflower wreath workshop (¥1,500 per person). There's also a free stamp rally, where you can win a special prize by collecting all the stamps at the park. There’s even a mini amusement park area featuring a Ferris wheel and a merry-go-round (these rides require a small fee).
Entrance to the park is free, but if you’re planning to drive there, parking is ¥1,500 per vehicle. To keep tabs of the flowering progress, you can follow the park on Facebook for updates. Yokosuka Soleil Hill is located roughly two hours from central Tokyo by train and bus. For more information, visit the festival website.
This article was originally published on July 1 2021 and updated on July 6 2022.
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