Kinchakuda in spring: cherry blossoms, rapeseed (canola flowers) and purple flowers
Kinchakuda needs little introduction. If you don’t know it by name, you’ll know it as the most famous place for red spider lilies in Japan. However, what you might not know about Kinchakuda is that it is not just picturesque in September when the spider lilies are in bloom. The park is pretty all year round. And although not famous for its cherry blossoms, it should be in my humble opinion. Particularly as you can see them in combination with rapeseed.
Kinchakuda is a nature park on the Koma river. It is not small, but it is not particularly large either. The park is shaped like a horseshoe, it might be why “Sashima Horse Farm” stable was located in the park! But the park got its shape from the meandering Koma River. The Koma river winds in a U shape, creating a peninsula in which the park resides. In summer it is a popular place for river play. Part of it is also a day camp during that period. Moreover, there are few photo spots and attractions within the park. For example, Japan’s longest wooden truss bridge, the Doremifa foot bridge and a wooden mill.
There are two different displays of cherry blossoms in the park. One is along the embankment. There are about 100 Somei Yoshino cherry blossoms lining the river. The other is near the South east car park. There 40 different varieties of cherry blossoms bloom. They all bloom at different times so you can see cherry blossoms in the park for about a month in total.
Moreover, you can also see rapeseed, also known as canola blossoms, blooming at the same time as the cherry blossoms. Stand alone cherry blossoms are undoubtedly gorgeous and photogenic. But contrasted with the yellow canola blooms are even more stunning, in my humble opinion.
There are 3 hectares of rapeseed, also known as canola flower, at Kinchakuda. Each year the park has a canola flower festival in Spring. However, in 2020 it didn’t go ahead because of the State of Emergency. It has also been cancelled this year, 2021. Thankfully, they didn’t cut down the rapeseed / canola blooms, like they did the FIVE million spider lilies in Autumn of 2020. The rapeseed bloom for the month of April. Making them later than a lot of other rapeseed locations. But they are also slightly different to the most common type of rapeseed you see on the embankments in Saitama. The stems are longer and the flower is not quite as vibrant or full. However, they make for a very impressive photo with the cherry blossoms in the background.
In the woods where the red spider lilies grow, there is a purple flower in bloom in spring. At first glance I thought it was deadnettle, but I don’t think it is. There is no information on the official website as to what they are. Instagram and a quick Google search don’t bring up an answer either. Do you know what type of flower this is? They almost look like bluebells. Pictured above with the Doremifa bridge in the background. Sorry they are quite blurry, it was very windy and they wouldn’t sit still for me!
Other seasonal blooms
There is a lotus pond near the South East car park. They typically bloom in July. However, you can often see them by the end of June. And as the hydrangea grow in June you can see the lotus backdropped by hydrangea if you time it right. There are also Asaza flowers in the lotus pond. In Autumn, cosmos grow around the same time as the spider lilies.
Sashima Horse Farm
The Sashima Horse Farm is on the east of the park. It is a stables that usually offers various experiences, but unfortunately a fire destroyed four of the stables in June 2020. Tragically, three horses were lost in the fire, but thankfully they saved 57 horses. Sadly, in rescuing the horses two of the stable hands were badly burned. They are planning to rebuild, but it will take time. In the meantime, the stables are off limits to the general public.
On the edge of the park is an ORGANIC CAFE AND SHOP Alishan Organic Center to grab a bite or pick up some foreign healthy produce. Also nearby is Japanese Food Asahi with a twist of Korean food and ingredients. It is very popular for lunch: https://www.hidaka-asahi.jp/index.php Furthermore, there is also a great little cafe, Cafe Nichigetsu, a short drive away. It has an outdoor terrace ideal during these pandemic times.
Also in the area:
- Shoden-in Temple (Shotenin) which also looks stunning in spring
- Easy Hike to Gojo Waterfall | HIDAKA
- Metsä Village – a Finnish leisure park in Hanno
- Panza Miyazawako Funmock at Metsa Village
- Moomin Valley Park | HANNO
Kinchakuda Cherries and Rapeseed Information
|Address:||125-2 Komahongo, Hidaka, Saitama 350-1251|
|Hours:||8 am to 5 pm|
|Cost:||Free, but parking costs a flat rate of 500 yen per car|
Kinchakuda Cherry Blossom and Rapeseed Access
Kinchakuda is a 15 minute walk from Seibu Ikebukuro Line’s Koma Station. You can also walk from the Hachiko Line’s Komagawa station, but it takes about 40 minutes on foot. The park is an 18 minute drive from the Tsurugashima Interchange of Kanetsu Expressway. The area gets very congested in spring, but even worse when the spider lilies are in bloom.