It’s our Japaniversary today! It has been exactly one year since J and I moved to Japan, something I honestly had never even dreamed of. It has been a happy and action-packed year, and even though I feel stressed every time I remember all the things I still have left to see and do (and eat, duh), I always remind myself to be present and appreciate all the wonderful spots I managed to cover so far. The Land of the Rising Sun has certainly spoiled me with its natural beauty for the past year, but there are places that truly wow me. As a celebratory post I want to share with you last weekend’s trip to Hitachi Seaside Park which qualifies as one of my favorite experiences in Japan and most certainly as the highlight of fall season.
You know fall has officially arrived when the fuzzy-looking kochia bushes (also known as kokia, fireweed, burning bush or summer cypress) turn from verdant green to hot pink and cranberry color. Located a few-hour drive away from Tokyo, namely in Ibaraki prefecture, this sprawling park is famous for its collection of beautiful flowers, plants and trees. The gardens are designed in such a way that at any given moment during the year there is always something in full bloom. The park is particularly known for their nemophila and tulip fields in spring as well as hills covered in pink kochia during fall. Although, I bet they look equally striking in green color during summer. Seeing those stems actually being hot pink was quite perplexing. I also loved how soft and fuzzy they looked although in reality they were quite rough to the touch. Besides kochia, we got to see other flower fields, all equally beautiful of course.
Even though kochia’s transformation doesn’t coincide with peak foliage season elsewhere in Japan (except Hokkaido), I’d highly recommend making your way to Hitachi if you find yourself in Japan at the end of Oct through mid-November. It would make a perfect day trip and is an ideal place for family travel. Besides the gardens there is a big amusement park with attractions catering to kids of all ages. Plus, the park is located next to a huge shopping mall. For a more detailed information about Hitachi Seaside Park and how to get there here is a great reference from Japan Guide.
That’s about it. I’ll let the photos do rest of talking and show you how truly breathtaking it all was. Specially thanks to my friend Susan who kindly took my portraits and contributed a few if these images.
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