Hydrangea in the Minano area of Chichibu in 2021.
The cherry blossoms in Minoyama Park, Chichibu, are one of Chichibu’s most famous scenes. It is nicknamed the Mount Yoshino of the kanto plain due to the 8000 blossoms atop the mountain. However, Minoyama Park also has some stunning hydrangea. And thank to their location at 586 meters above sea level, they tend to bloom a little later than other hydrangea in Saitama Prefecture. Prime viewing is usually the end of June to early July. However, this year, all the flowers and blossoms have been early to bloom in Saitama Prefecture, including the cherry blossoms in Minoyama Park. So the hydrangea at Minoyama park will probably be at their best earlier than normal.
Featured image at the top of the post from the Chichibu Tourism Association.
There are approximately 3500 hydrangea in Minoyama Park. So the display is not nearly as big as others in Saitama Prefecture. But the hydrangea comes with great views of the Chichibu valley and surrounding mountains. Moreover, sometimes you can see a sky of clouds in this park. There are about four different varieties of hydrangea in one section of the 7500 meter squared park.
Minoyama Park is also called the “forest of flowers”. Apart from the cherry blossoms and hydrangea there are many other flowers that bloom in the park. The view from the park is amazing throughout the seasons. The park is open from 9 am to 5 pm.
Access Minoyama Park
The hike from the nearest train station, Minano (or Oyahana) station on the Chichibu Railway, is a long one in the best of circumstances, but particularly now with some of the trails still closed due to damage from typhoon Hagibis in 2019. It would take about an hour and a half on foot, but it is a beautiful hike. By car it is about 20 minutes from the station.
By car it takes about an hour from the Hanazono Interchange of the Kanetsu Expressway. However, please note that due to severe damage during Typhoon #19 aka Hagibis, in 2019, some of the roads are inaccessible in the area. And to get to the park you currently can’t use Minano Iriguchi Intersection 美の山入口交差点 . To get to the park you have to use forest service road 森林管理道蓑山線 from the Minano yakuba interchange 皆野役場入り口交差点. Please note this is a narrow mountain road and take due care. Official notification.
Need somewhere to say in Minano? Waterpark Nagatoro is also located in Minano. It is a campsite, but they also have cabins as well as trailers.