We are used to the fact that the flowering of peonies precedes the onset of real summer and warm sunny weather. However, in Japan there are special varieties of these lush flowers that delight visitors to temples and gardens from late November to mid-February. You can usually see peonies in winter under special capes made of fine rice straw covered with snow caps. Winter peonies symbolize the spirit of nature that stands up to harsh conditions. You can admire the flowers at the Toshogu Shrine in Ueno Park (Tokyo), at the Sekkoji Temple (Nara), and at the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine (Kamakura).
The plum blossom marks the beginning of early spring, but the trees begin to bloom from mid-February and stand in all their glory until mid-March. According to the ancient tradition, this is the first flower that appears in the new year, because before the beginning of the year it was the beginning of spring that was considered. Unlike sakura, plum flowers have a pleasant, intense scent. The sight of white, dark pink, light pink and even yellow flowers under the snow evokes a special thrill in the soul of a Japanese. To enjoy the view of plum blossoms, you can visit the Kairakuen Garden (Mito), Yushima Tenjin Shrine (Tokyo), Atami Plum Garden (Shizuoka).
If a Japanese man hears the word “flower”, then he most likely imagines exactly sakura. The sakura blossom in Japan, as well as festivals associated with admiring it, is the most popular reason for foreign visitors to visit the land of the rising sun. The National Meteorological Agency monitors the front of cherry blossoms in all regions of the country, announcements of the appearance of flowers on reference trees are broadcast in the media, and residents evaluate the “splendor” of flowering according to special criteria every year. Why sakura? The tradition dates back to the deep Middle Ages, and we tell the story of its origin in our spring tours. In the historical region of Japan, cherry blossoms bloom from mid-March to mid-April. The best places to admire sakura are the Philosophical Trail (Kyoto), the Meguro River embankment (Tokyo), the Four Seasons Garden at the Tenryuji Temple (Kyoto).
You can catch the beginning of blooming of wisteria at the same time as sakura, because the front of its flowering in some regions of the country begins in mid-April. However, you are most likely to see impressive bunches of wisteria flowers in May. Purple, lilac, pink, white and even blue – they reach up to 1 meter in length, hanging over the heads of visitors to gardens and parks from specially equipped verandas. Just like the plum, wisteria exudes a strong sweetish aroma, communicating its presence for several kilometers around. The most popular places to admire are the Kawamachi Garden (Kitakyushu) on the island of Kyushu, as well as the Maizuru Park (Fukuoka) and the Buzoji Temple (Dazaifu).
5 days (02 – 06 August and 12 more dates)
11 days (09 – 19 August and 2 more dates)
6 days (03 – 08 August and 5 more dates)
5 days (24 – 28 July and 9 more dates)
With the onset of the real summer heat in Japan, the iris season begins. Irises are planted along the streams in the gardens of temples and sanctuaries, while special “angular” bridges are thrown across the streams for walking and admiring flowers. This delicate and exquisite flower is considered a masculine symbol in Japanese culture. More often than any other flower, iris is used in the Japanese art of flower arrangement – ikebane. You can enjoy irises in June at Meiji Shrine (Tokyo), Horikiri Garden (Tokyo), and Mizumoto Park (Tokyo).
Hydrangea in Japan is associated with the onset of the rainy season, but bloom lasts from mid-June to mid-July. There are several varieties of this plant, but one of them should be especially noted, as its leaves are boiled to make a sweet tea – Hydrangea serrata. The bright blue lush hydrangea caps are especially beautiful in the morning fog in the morning sun. Recommended for visiting are Asukayama Park (Tokyo), Hakusan Shrine (Tokyo), Hasedera Temple (Kamakura).
The cosme season in Japan starts in late August and lasts until early October. The flowering of the cosmos marks the arrival of autumn, when flowers of all possible shades of red and yellow begin to prevail. The most popular images of Fuji in Japan are a mountain with a high-speed train (shinkansen) in the foreground and a mountain through the flowers of the cosmos. The flower is also poetically called “sakura of autumn”. For beautiful photographs of cosme fields, you can go to Kurigama Flower Park (Yokosuka), Hananomiyako Park (Fuji), Hitachi Flower Park (Hitatinaka).
Closes the “flower” season in Japan – red maple. Despite the fact that the tree does not produce flowers as such, it is believed that the graceful miniature leaf of the Japanese maple is similar to an inflorescence, and the tradition of admiring this plant is called “momiji” –– “admiring a flowering maple”. From mid-November to mid-December, the whole of Japan and the world follow the reddening front of maple leaves. Along with sakura, viewing scarlet maples is traditionally a very popular season among tourists. This is not surprising, because at this time very favorable weather sets in, the most comfortable for travel. We invite you to enjoy the flowering of Japanese maple in Momijidani Park (Miyajima), the garden at the Ginkakuji Temple (Kyoto), the Ryoanji 15 Stone Garden (Kyoto).
In truth, the Japanese really appreciate and love nature and, in addition to the above plants, in Japan you can admire endlessly beautiful landscapes all year round, even without any reason. If you are a big fan of flowers, here are a few more plants that locals hold in special esteem: tulip, shibazakura (pink moss), rose, lavender, sunflower, camellia, azalea, rapeseed, nemophila, peach, magnolia, lotus, dahlia, radiant lycoris, chrysanthemum. Travel to Japan with us for an unforgettable vacation surrounded by breathtaking scenery and great company.
Japan is us.