2019 in review: best Saitama flowers

Saitama flowers – I’m writing up my “want to go” list for 2020 and reflecting on the year gone by. In 2019 lots of places were crossed off my want-to-go list, but a few I didn’t make it to will naturally be added to the 2020 list. I did so much this past year, it is quite overwhelming looking back and trying to organize #bestnine lists for blog posts. But the easiest list to write is definitely my favorite flower viewing of 2019…

Best Saitama Flowers of 2019

There are so many stunning flowers to see in Saitama Prefecture. But it was easy to pick my best nine as that is exactly that number of flower viewings that made an indelible impression on me in 2019. This list doesn’t include any tree or prunus blooms, just flowers. Hopefully, if you are planning flower viewing for 2020, you might find an idea or two here to add to your list:

  1. Azalea Ogose
  2. Roses Tsurugashima
  3. Poppies Konosu
  4. Lavender Ranzan
  5. Hydrangea Ranzan
  6. Spider lilies Yoshimi
  7. Autumn Roses Moroyama
  8. Salvia Saitama City
  9. Plumed cockscomb Namegawa

1. Azalea Ogose

Despite my best intentions to get to Godaison Ogose when the azalea festival was still on, I was too busy and actually visited the day after the festival finished. There was two benefits in that though: 1. it wasn’t too crowded and 2. the parking was free. During the official “festival” period it can be jam packed supposedly and parking is charged a flat rate for the day.

Torii and azalea ogose best of saitama flowers saitama

Of course, the downside of visiting after the festival is that the flowers were past their prime. Despite that it was still a stunning view and the above photo is one of my personal favorites from 2019. Godaison Tsutsuji park has more than 10,000 plants of ten different varieties and is well worth the visit for azalea admirers.

Season:Typically end of April until early May
Official website of Ogose townInformation in English on this blog

2. Roses Tsurugashima

Roses remind me of my home in Ireland, where roses are a common garden feature. I try to visit a park or garden every year to see the roses in bloom. Until this year, my favorite place to visit them was Japan’s longest rose tunnel in Kawajima. However, as of this year, I have a new favorite!

Greenfinger instacafe saitama japan saitama flowers best of saitama

Green Fingers Cafe is a famous garden cafe in Tsurugashima. The owners are particularly renowned for their roses and have won several prestigious awards. The garden at Green Fingers is relatively small, but is astutely landscaped with gorgeous outhouses. There are some rare roses in bloom during the season and with the other features and flowers in the garden the overall impression is stunning.

Season:Typically the full month of May
Official Greenfinger cafe websiteInformation in English on this blog

3. Saitama Flowers, Poppies Konosu

Truth is 2019 was not the first year that I visited the poppies in Konosu. But it is the first time in a long time that I actually went while there were festival booths there. And as this was the first time I saw so many of them in full bloom at the same time, they made more of an impression on me than normal, so I added them to the list!

saitama flowers best of 2019 konosu cosmos

Konosu’s poppy festival is the largest in the whole of Japan. There are more than 30 million poppies over 12.5 hectares. A good portion of them are Calfornia poppies, but there are red poppies and other variations too. The festival is usually held in conjunction with a number of open gardens in the area. It is one of the most famous and most popular places for flower viewing in Saitama.

Viewing period:Typically mid to end of May.
Official event web pageInformation in English on this blog

4. Lavender Ranzan

From the largest poppy fields to the largest lavender fields. The prefecture claim that the lavender fields in Ranzan are the largest in the whole of Japan. However, I do think Hokkaido could dispute this claim. Regardless, the display in Ranzan is impressive and it is something different from the norm. The distinct smell although pungent is very restorative.

Visiting Ranzan Lavender Festival at Sennen No Sono Saitama flowers
The lavender at about 60 to 70% bloom
Viewing period:Typically June to early July.
Official event web pageInformation in English on this blog

5. Hydrangea Ranzan

Just recalling my visit to Kinsenji, otherwise known as the Hydrangea Temple, brings a smile to my face. My visit to Kinsenji really left an impression on me, even though, once again I timed it wrong and didn’t get to see the flowers in full bloom. However, the tranquil temple with a winding walk through hill side hydrangeas (with several vitalizing proverbs along the way) certainly did much to create an energizing ambiance.

Hydrangea best saitama flowers
Viewing period:Typically the full month of June.
Official event web pageInformation in English on this blog

Best of Saitama Flowers 2019

6. Spider Lilies Yoshimi

There are three famous spider lily locations in Saitama (Kinchakuda | Gongendo | Terasaka Terraced Rice fields) and then there is Yoshimi! Despite not being a famous Saitama flowers viewing spot, the 2 kilometer embankment in Yoshimi attracts thousands every year. What was first quite an off the beaten track location is now instafamous. And with very good reason as the spider lilies there really are stunning.

red spider lilies of Saitama
Viewing period:Typically mid to the end of September.
Official event web pageInformation in English on this blog

7. Autumn Roses Moroyama

After having such a good experience at Greenfinger cafe during the spring rose season, I eagerly went to Garden Cafe Greenrose for the Autumn roses. Greenrose cafe only opens for a few weeks a year. This year I was (finally) able to make it during the Autumn Rose season. And it was well worth it with the stunning garden and open plan cafe where you can sit with a great view and / or among the roses.

Greenrose Cafe Moroyama
Viewing period:Typically October to mid November
Official website of GreenroseInformation in English on this blog

8. Saitama Flowers Salvia Saitama City

The Salvia in Omiya Saitama City was an accidental find. I actually went to the park to see the Kochia, which unfortunately this year (2019) were damaged by typhoon #15. Thankfully there were Salvia and several other flowers to enjoy instead. Other flowers you can see in Omiya Hana No Oka in September include Cosmos, Autumn roses and Spider lilies.

Salvia Omiya Hana no Oka Park
Viewing period:August to October
Official event web pageInformation in English on this blog

9. Cock’s Comb Namegawa

Like the Salvia in Omiya Hana no Oka, the Cock’s Comb at Shinrin Park in Namegawa are long flowering. You can enjoy the half million flower display from the end of August until mid October. If you time it for the end of September you should be able to see Kochia in bloom at the same time too.

cockscomb and keito
Viewing period:Typically end of August to October
Official event web pageInformation in English on this blog

Best of Saitama Flowers 2019

Saitama Flowers 2019

As I added each place to this list I had the fleeting thought “oh yes, this was my absolute favorite”, but the more I added the more I knew didn’t have just one. Thankfully the #bestnine trend allows me avoid having crown one of these Saitama flowers as the best for 2019 and allows me share some of the displays I saw this past year that left a lasting impression.

Did you get to any flower festivals or famous Saitama flower spots in 2019? Which was / were your favorite/s? Any Saitama flower viewing plans for 2020?

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