2022 information for the Hydrangea Festival at Satte Gongendo Park.
Since the dawn of Instagram Satte Gongendo Park has become one of the most famous and popular places to see hydrangea flowers not just in Saitama Prefecture, but in the Greater Tokyo Area. Before the pandemic their hydrangea festival was one of the highlights of June in Japan. It used to be on for the full month of June. In both 2020 and 2021 the festival was not only cancelled, the parking lots were closed for much of the hydrangea season. Thankfully, in 2022, the festival is coming back, but for a shorter period than pre-Covid.
Gongendo is a prefectural park in Satte, renowned for its seasonal flowers. The park opened officially in 2011. The park is actually still a work in progress! All the flowers are in what is called “park #4”! There is also a park 1 and 3. But 2 doesn’t exist yet! It is in the plans though. Some of the flora and fauna, including the cherry blossoms, have existed long before the park was formed. The park has other seasonal blooms, including red spider lilies in September and daffodils and narcissus in January.
There is a playground in park #1 which is a good half hour walk from the hydrangea. There is a goat pen in park #4 though, near where the flowers bloom. Due to the pandemic, you currently can’t walk among them or interact with them. There is also a cafe near the main car park for the flower viewing. For a full round up of what the park has to offer, please see the detailed information page on this blog here.
There are approximately 16,000 hydrangea of 100 different varieties in the park. The park is particularly renowned for the Annabel variety, pictured above. There are approximately 3000 Annabel hydrangea. They typically bloom for the month of June. However, in recent years the colored hydrangea have started to bloom at the end of May. Gongendo Park posted yesterday, May 24th, to say some are starting to flower already. The white Annabel variety typically start to bloom later than the colored ones. But by about mid June you can see all varieties at some stage of bloom.
An estimated 563,000 people come to see the hydrangea in Satte over the course of the flower festival in a regular year. In 2021, I visited on June 21st, the day the parking lot opened back up after six weeks of closure. The park was buzzing with people who had come to see the beautiful flowers, but it was nowhere near as busy as a ‘regular’ year. The Annabel were in their prime, but a lot of the colored hydrangea were passed their prime.
Satte Hydrangea Festival
Regrettably, the 2020 and 2021 Satte Hydrangea Festival were cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Thankfully it will be back in 2022 for the first time in three years. However, it is a festival “lite”! Normally the festival is on for the full month of June, but in 2022 it will only be on for three weeks. They don’t have a flyer yet for 2022; they may not make one at all this year. Normally during the festival there are some sort of additional events. However, so far for 2022, they only thing they have announced is flower sales for the weekends of the period of the hydrangea festival.
Dates: Saturday June 4th to Sunday June 26th 2022
Hours: not specified, but the park is open 24 hours. However, the car park closes overnight. During the pandemic it has actually been closing as early as 5 pm sometimes. Also, in 2021 and earlier this year, they only had the main car park open.
Address: Gongendo Park 権現堂公園, 887-3 Uchigouma, Satte, Saitama 340-0103
Access Gongendo Park
Getting to Gongendo Park from Tokyo.
It takes just over an hour to get to Gongendo park from Kitasenju Station in the Adachi ward of Tokyo. If you can get on a shared Tobu Skytree and Nikko line you don’t have to transfer. Otherwise get the skytree line to Minami kurihashi station and transfer to the Tobu Nikko line. Alight at Satte station. From the station it takes about 35 minutes on foot to the park or you can get an Asahi bus bound for “Goka machi yakuba” 五霞町役場. Alight at the “Gongendo” 権現堂 bus stop.
By car it takes about one hour by car to get to Satte Gongendo Park from downtown Tokyo, using the Kanetsu expressway. At Shiraoka Junction switch to the Ken-o expressway and get off the highway at the Satte Interchange. There are four different zones in the park, the one you want to go to is Park #3, which is sometimes listed as “Gongendo Tsutsumi” on maps. If you can’t find that, look for “Satteshi kouminkan” that is just across the road from the car park. Or use the address (provided in previous paragraph).
From the official park website:
If using a car navigation system, set the destination to “Satteshi kouminkan” (Kita Hall). Gongendo Park and the car parking area is opposite Kita Hall.
Address of Kita Hall
Oaza Uchi-goma 867, Satte, Saitama
Car parking area opening hours: 8:30 am to 5 pm