Happy Spring Park – Shinrin Park is Saitama’s largest, and in my humble opinion, best park. It was Japan’s first national park, constructed as part of a Meiji centennial project. It’s official name is Musashi Kyuryo National Government Park. However, it is most commonly called Shinrin Park. Shinrin Park hold dozen of events annually. Moreover, there is always some seasonal flowers to enjoy. Information for their annual Happy Spring Park event, tulip display and early spring flowers in the park hereafter.
Happy Spring Park 2022
Their festivals are amazing. We have been to many over the years and have been able to try a multitude of different activities thanks to it. The park has a seven week long “early spring festival” annually. It starts in February and runs until the third week in March. As part of that “spring festival” they have a “happy spring park” each year in the middle of March.
This year, 2022, the Happy Spring Park is scheduled for Saturday March 12th and Sunday March 13th. It is held near the West entrances open space called “Nishiguchi Hiroba”. Which is near both the Musashi Kids Dome and Adventure playgrounds. The event starts at 10 am and finishes at 4 pm on both Saturday and Sunday. However, it will not go ahead if there is rain.
Some of the activities on offer for this special fair include:
- Bungee Trampoline
- Outdoor cooking
- Electronic unicycles
- Climbing Wall
- Live music
- … and much much more
Due to the pandemic they may not be able to offer the usual activities. Usually, most of the events at Happy Spring Park incur charges on top of the entry fee into the park. For example, treeing costs 1000 yen per person (from 4 years of age), the bungee swing also costs 1000 yen for just 2 minutes (from 2 years of age), the bouldering wall is 500 yen for the day etc.
Early Spring Flowers
There are flowers and blossoms in bloom all year round in Shinrin Park. Early spring is no exception.
In 2022, they are bringing back the early blooming tulips. Approximately 18,000 early blooming tulips will be on display near the Central Gate from around March 1st. They typically bloom for about a month: which is normally the month of March. But they were actually late to bloom this year and only started around March 20th.
Beside the tulips there are approximately 1000 Christmas roses in bloom around the same time. Between the tulips and the Christmas roses you can see land prepped to grow another flower. That is the Lupine flowers which Shinrin Park has become quite famous for.
Shinrin Park has a relatively large display of Katakuri or Japanese Dogwood Violets. One of thee most beloved spring flowers in Japan. They are considered endangered by many, so nowadays they are not harvested. But once upon a time, people would pick and cook Katakuri. The best time to see them is usually later in spring. However, they start to grow around the start of the fourth week of March.
They are a very interesting flower that goes through growth phases. They start with their flower closed, much like a closed umbrella. Then the petals slowly start to lift upwards. Finally, they curve upwards. By the end of March you can usually find a few that are open, but they might not be curved upwards yet.
You can also see about 500 tsubaki (camellia / sasanqua) in the park in March. You can usually see crocus in March also. The park has a beautiful cherry blossom grove too. You can usually see different varieties of cherry blossoms viewing from around mid March to mid April. They cherry grove is near the South entrance. There is also a plum blossom grove near that entrance too. Furthermore, from the end of March and for the month of April you can see 700,000 (give or take) Icelandic poppies!
Shinrin Park Information
Hours: 9.30 am to 5 pm
Cost: entry to the park is 450 yen per adult. There is no charge for children.
Access: bus ride from either JR Kumagaya Station or Tobu Tojo Line Shinrinkoen station. If you come by car parking is also charged; 650 yen for the day.
You can use the Shinrin Park tag to find even more posts about the seasonal events and flowers at the park on this blog.
First published in the events section in 2017, updated and republished on the blog side in February 2022.