While driving to Northern Saitama today, along the Saikai Kaido (aka route 140) beautiful tall sunflowers already in full bloom captured my attention. Actually, in fairness, I think I spotted a camera man first on the foot path. I remember having the fleeting thought ‘ooh, wonder what he’s found himself to photograph’. Then bam, I saw them. Thousands of bright yellow sunflower heads enticing me. Before I even had time to think ‘should I turn the car around’, a 7-11 right beside the fields beckoned. I quickly turned on my indicator and eased into the large but jam packed car park of 7-11. Evidently, I was not the only driver distracted by the lure of the ripe sunflowers.
These are not sunflower fields to go out of your way to view. There is no official parking and while the fields are relatively large, the surrounding scenery is nothing to write home about. I share this information for anyone else planning to use the Saikai Kaido route going west from Kumagaya in the direction of Chichibu, as you will pass them along the way. Also, for anyone who lives or works in Fukaya and is looking for somewhere to see sunflowers nearby right now in July. Moreover, as there are quite a few sunflower fields closed again this year, it might be of interest to people in other nearby parts of Saitama who want to see sunflowers, even if they aren’t the best of the bunch.
By the by, I was on my way to see the lilies in Fukaya Green Park which is only a seven minute drive away. They are not quite in bloom yet, but will be shortly.
Sunflowers Fukaya Information
|Address:||Nagazaike, Fukaya, Saitama 369-1101|
|Online:||I can’t find even a blog post in Japanese about these sunflowers. Here is the official web page of the Seven Eleven.|
The 7-11 is located conveniently right on the west border of the sunflowers. If you overshoot the 7-11 coming from the east, don’t worry – the Fukaya Kawamoto branches of Beisia and Cainz are next door. And parking is plentiful.
There are fields on the side of the 7-11 and also on the opposite side of the road. Google Maps have the ones on the opposite side of the road mapped: