May 28, 2015

The Shibazakura Hill in Chichibu


I feel like every other blog post lately is of flowers.

Then again, it is spring! The season where everything starts to bloom. That's a good reason, right? You'll just have to bare with me for a bit longer! (Yes, I do have a few more in store...)

Right before Golden Week, I got itchy feet and hopped on a train headed to Chichibu (秩父), a corner of Saitama Prefecture surrounded by mountains. It's a really great spot to explore and hike, about 1.5 hours from Shinjuku by train. As much as I love living in the city (and I really do), sometimes the inner inaka in me craves nature. Thankfully, it's not too difficult to get away from the city in Tokyo (although it doesn't necessarily mean that you get away from the crowds).

It was Shibazakura season at Hitsuji-yama Park (羊山公園).

Shibazakura, phlox subulata or moss phlox in English, is originally from North America. The flowers look like small cherry blossoms and cover the ground like grass, thus the name Shibazakura in Japanese (shiba=grass, sakura=cherry blossoms).

There were nine different types of Shibazakura that cover the 17,600 sqm (4.3 acres) hillside in various colors. The design is based on the traditional clothes the float riders wear participating in the Chichibu Yomatsuri, a very large festival in this area.

Although the flowers itself are very small and simple, seeing it cover the hill is quite impressive. I noticed a very sweet scent in the air from the Shibazakura, too. I may have gotten slightly high from that at one point. Did I also mention you get a fabulous view of the massive mountain, Bukosan (武甲山)? It was beautiful. And they also served sakura flavored soft serve!

Now doesn't that make you want to go see this Shibazakura hill next year? x

















6267 Omiya, Chichibu-shi, Saitama JAPAN
埼玉県秩父市 大宮6267
TEL: 0494 21 2277
ENTRANCE FEE: 300 yen

6 comments:

  1. It is impressive , yes i d like to see it with my own eyes ! beautiful ;)

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    1. I hope you get to some day, Babzy! :D

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  2. Absolutely breathtaking. Every year I mean to go; every year something prevents me from going. So I'm semi-jealous, semi-glad you went so that I can enjoy it via your photos. :)

    PS: I was expecting pink toenails in sandals. ^^

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    1. I know how that is...I just realized I hadn't been here in over eight years! Maybe we should take turns going every year ;)

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  3. I don't think I've ever seen so much pink. When you lived over here, did you ever visit Lompoc? Flowers for as far as the eye can see; they grow them for seed, I believe.

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    1. I had to look up Lompoc, it looks amazing! Especially knowing that they are grown as a product. I would love to live near there.

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