It’s finally starting to feel like spring and when I found out that I had a random week day off (due to it being the foundation day of my school), I decided to take advantage of the beautiful warm weather and find somewhere new to explore.
Although my instinct was to sleep and Netflix the day away, the weather was just too perfect for me to just sit inside. So I was up early and made another crazy trip to a neighbouring prefecture – a one way trip taking 3 hours door to door! Hitsujiyama Park (羊山公園) in Saitama (埼玉) is known around this time of year for its Shibazakura (芝桜).
It was relatively easy to get there, even considering that I took the cheapest option of local trains. Everything was well sign-marked, sometimes in English, sometimes not but it was clear that the local community had prepared for the hoards of visitors coming through in the next couple of weeks. I went on a random Friday and there were still a fair few people about (albeit mainly of the older demographic).
LEFT: The climb up to the garden was a killer, it does not look like much from the picture but I swear it was one of the steepest paths I have every walked up!
RIGHT: I was then greeted by these adorable tulips just before the spectacular view of the Shibazakura
It’s hard to put into words just how vibrant the colours of the flowers were; it was unlike anything I had ever seen before. The backdrop of the mountains and luscious green treens made the various shades of pink, purple and blue pop.
I had come towards the start of the festival so there were sections that were not in full bloom yet. However, this did not really distract from the experience. The amazing weather and spectacular view just made it complete.
Just before I made my way back home (on the long 3 hours journey) I decided to just sit and people (and flower) watch for a minute. It was lovely to soak in some Vitamin D after ages and just see elderly couples taking cute selfies or taking turns to pose for photos. I also could not resist some gelato made from locally grown strawberries! It was so refreshing especially considering that it was nearing mid afternoon and was heating up!