Thousands of rapeseed at Heritage Farm in the Oegawa area of Kumagaya.
In recent years, Kumagaya City have been executing several different initiatives to revitalize the Oegawa area of the city. The Oegawa 1000 Cherry Blossoms are one such endeavor and we can enjoy the fruits of in March each year. But shortly after the pink Jindai Akebono Cherry Blossoms have turned to green, the area becomes awash with yellow. The yellow of thousands and thousands of rapeseed.
Heritage Rapeseed Farm
No doubt named for the Heritage Resort in the neighborhood, the Heritage Rapeseed Farm was developed with an aim to to create a sustainable economic cycle. The farm serves to increase the bee population, in turn making honey farming possible. They are also making rapeseed oil and other rapeseed products from the flowers. In addition, they can use parts of the flower for fertilizer. Meanwhile, they are monitoring all activities as a research project. Moreover, the flowers make a create a stunning landscape when in full bloom.
Rapeseed flower fields
I had heard that there was rapeseed in the area, but I failed to understand the scale or scenic value! Thankfully the scenery is so striking, that it accosted me on my way back from Konan Wisteria yesterday. I used the same road going to Konan Wisteria, but I was at the wrong angle to see them. But on the way back as I turned on one of the bends before Heritage Hotel, there was no missing the stark contrast of bright yellow flowers against the lush new green of cherry blossom trees.
Rather than one big field of rapeseed, its actually about a dozen smaller fields back to back. You can see about seven of the fields from route 47, but there are more around the bend of the country road that runs adjacent to the fields. A bit of sleuthing online revealed that the rapeseed bloom for the month of April, with the end of the third week of April generally being the best time to see them. According to the Kumagaya City website they last until the end of Golden Week. However, two of the fields have already been harvested this year.
The rapeseed are more or less opposite the main entrance to the Heritage Hotel / Resort. As such, they are very near the ‘mountain area’ of the 1000 cherry blossoms of Oegawa. Actually, some of the 1000 cherry blossoms are on one side of the aforementioned country road that runs alongside the rapeseed fields. Heritage Hotel has fireworks over Golden Week. Normally, I share an event post about them, but this year the fireworks seem to be restricted to hotel customers. Until last year you could ‘walk in’ and pay 500 yen to see them.
I was so happy to find this rapeseed today. I was actually planning to check on the poppies at the Fukiage field on the way home, knowing its too early. (The California poppies are blooming at Poppy Happy Square, but the Fukiage field is always later). This was a far better surprise. Especially as the poppies I did stop at yesterday, also in Kumagaya, were a bit of a disappointment. The sight of thousands of vibrant rapeseed flowers, plus the stunning Konan wisteria, really made my day!
Scenery: Heritage Farm Rapeseed Flowers ヘリテイジデ・ファーム菜の花
Bloom Period: April to early May
Location: Heritage Farm, Oegawa, Kumagaya, Saitama 360-0103. View on Google Maps.
The biggest problem with this area is access. There is currently no official parking for either the rapeseed (sakura) or the hiking in the area. Moreover, you can’t drive along the country road by the fields. Its an agricultural road for tractors and the likes, so very narrow and not suited to commercial vehicles.
By public transport its equally tricky. This area of Kumagaya is not near a train station. Even the nearest bus stop is about a 45 minute walk away. If you are a paying customer of Heritage Hotel you can of course use their hotel shuttle bus from Shinrinkoen station.
Official web page on the Kumagaya City website
so…. Spring has arrived???
It has indeed!