Chichibu Hitsujiyama Park
In the city of Chichibu there’s a park which comes alive every spring in a dazzling display of pinks and purples — and no, we’re not talking about cherry blossoms. The specialty plant here is shibazakura, or “moss phlox” in English. This is planted across an entire area of hills in the park, arranged in attractive patterns.
Beginning late in April, the moss flowers bloom and transform the hill into a vision of pink. Over 400,000 individual plants are used, of nine different shades. It’s unlikely you’ll ever again see as many of this flower in one single place (or maybe any flower for that matter). During the bloom season, a fair is held near the hill where you’ll be able to buy some local food and drink for an impromptu picnic among the flowers.
Even if you’re not visiting Hitsujiyama Park during the full bloom, it’s still worth visiting the park for an afternoon. There are a few nice walking trails, ponds, and even a sheep ranch within the grounds.
Sign up to receive insider tips about the food scene in Japan's most extraordinary areas.