Marigolds, night illumination, Moss phlox, sunflowers and other seasonal blooms at the scenic Marigold Hill in Honjo City, Northern Saitama.
Marigold Hill (no Oka)
Marigold no Oka, aka Marigold Hill, is a small park in Honjo City. Like really small. You can walk around the circumference of the park in five minutes. However, the attraction of it is in its seasonal blooms and illumination (winter). The seasonal flower field is about 4000 m². It is a hill it can be seen for miles around. Thus, the seasonal blooms look particularly picturesque. Moreover, it has beautiful trees right in the middle of the park that offset the blooms. The park is named for the marigold that grow there in autumn.
The other main feature of the park is the “Bell of Hope”. There is no playground. However, there are toilets and two vending machines. There are some picnic benches and benches in the park. Unless you were picnicking at the park, you wouldn’t need a lot of time here. It is a really lovely place to picnic though, with a view of the flowers and a view of Mt Akagi and Mt Haruna in Gunma on a clear day. There is a shopping center across the road with a Beisia where you can buy bento, sandwiches and a choice of take away food.
Seasonal Blooms at Marigold Hill
- March – Cherry blossoms
- Golden Week – Moss Phlox
- June – Hydrangea
- July / August – Sunflowers
- October /November – Marigold
- Winter – Night illumination
More photos and information for the Marigold and the Moss Phlox below:
Approximately 11,000 of the eponymous flower bloom in Autumn. Normally, you can see them in October and November. However, like almost every flower in Saitama Prefecture in 2021, they were early to bloom and are already at peak and have been since the end of September. From what I can tell, that is about 3 weeks earlier than normal. Thus it is likely, just like the moss phlox earlier in the year, they will be gone much earlier than normal too and you probably won’t be able to see them in November in 2021.
Moss Phlox / Shibazakura
The other flower I have kind-of-seen at the park is moss phlox! Like the marigold they were weeks earlier than normal and by the time I visited at the end of April, they were pretty much gone. There were just two small sections of moss phlox (shibazakura) left. It was right before Golden week when I visited in spring and normally prime viewing is bang smack in the middle of Golden Week. This would make a good alternative to the famous (and always crowded) moss phlox aka shibazakura of Hitsujiyama Park as it is off the beaten path. However, the day I visited for the pink phlox there were literally hundreds of people there. But they were altogether though on some sort of field trip!:
Go Go Halloween
Quick update in 2022 – Go Go Halloween is going back to Hanipon Plaza this year, 2022. More information coming soon.
New information in October 2021: The annual Honjo GO GO Halloween event will be held at Marigold Hill in 2021. To date the event has taken place indoors at Hanipon Plaza, but due to the coronavirus they are moving it outdoors. Prior to the pandemic, it was the largest Halloween event in Kita-Kanto. Kita-Kanto is the Northern area of the Kanto plain comprising Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Northern Saitama.
GoGo Halloween will be held, all things equal, on Sunday October 24th from 10:30 am. It will not go ahead if there is either rain or a State of Emergency is declared. People who come in costume, will receive sweets! There is a “Halloween market” on too. Information is still being added to their Facebook page.
New: 2021/2022 Night illumination
One of Saitama’s top ten locations for night illumination, Marigold Hill’s night illumination will start on Saturday November 20th 2021. It is on daily from 5 to 10 pm until Sunday January 16th 2022. They use approximately 60,000 lights in the display. This is a free event. Official event post here.
Marigold Hill Information
|Address:||1-13 Wasedanomori, Honjo, Saitama 367-0030|
|Hours:||24 hours, but the car park is only open from 9 am to 5 pm|
|Online:||Official web page on the Honjo City website|
The park is about 2.5 kilometers from the Honjo-Kodama Interchange of the Kanetsu Expressway. There is free parking for 36 cars. The car park is at the top of the hill, not the bottom where Google directs you to! The two spaces at the bottom of the hill are priority parking for people with lower mobility.
JR Takasaki Line’s Honjo station is about a 30 minute walk away (three kilometers). The Joetsu Shinkansen Honjo Waseda station is right by the park.