Once an off the beaten path spot for Spider lilies (aka Lycoris, Cluster Amaryllis, Equinox flower etc) in Yoshimi Town in the Hiki District of Saitama Prefecture. Where they have not just one, but two separate spider lily flower displays. One of which blooms earlier than everywhere else. In 2021 the early bloomers were already looking good on August 29th, as per the featured photo at the top of the post.
Update: September 27th – the higanbana here are now past their prime. If you are looking for red spider lilies that are still in bloom, a large section of Gongendo Park’s spider lilies were in good condition today. But there are also sections where they are past their prime. Supposedly Kinchakuda’s are hanging on too, but I have not been there since the 22nd so I can’t verify that personally. Do also check us out on Facebook for the latest updates.
Yoshimi Spider Lilies
In the opening paragraph I wrote “Once an off the beaten path spot…”, because when I first started visiting the spider lilies in Yoshimi they really were an off the beaten path spot. However, a couple of things happened that put them on the map. For one, this blog post! Furthermore, Instagram! But more than those two things combined, the closure of both Kinchakuda and Gongendo Park in 2020 drove people to look for alternative places to view spider lilies. Just one visit to Yoshimi is enough to make anyone fall in love and share their glee with the rest of the world. And thus, Yoshimi’s stunning spider lilies were put on the radar.
The early bloomers bloom from around the end of August to mid September. In 2022, they started to bloom mid August. However, I paid a quick visit on August 17th and the colored spider lilies hadn’t started yet. But there were quite a few of the early blooming reds in bloom. I went back on September 3rd and the colored ones were in their prime. As of September 10th, they are supposedly past their prime now.
After the early bloomers the main display starts. The main display generally bloom from around mid September to early October. The early bloomers are a mixture of colors, but the main display is predominantly red, as below:
Sakura Tsutsumi Park
Sakura Tsutsumi Park isn’t a park in the typical sense. It is a two kilometer embankment walk and cycling course that runs alongside a small river in Yoshimi. It was named for the beautiful cherry blossoms and rapeseed that grow along the embankment in spring.
You will find red spider lilies along the path in some sections, and down the side of the embankments in other areas. The early blooming colored spider lilies, however, are nearest the parking area that is by Yoshimi water plant. First you pass a row of red spider lilies by the toilet for the park. As of August 17th 2022, quite a few of them – the red spider lilies – are blooming already! The colored lilies are after the first crossing past that toilet, where you’ll see all the photographers in action! But they weren’t blooming yet today (August 17th 2022).
When they bloom they are orange, yellow and white. The genus “orange spider lily” covers the stunning salmon colored spider lilies you can see at Sakura Tsutsumi. Similarly, “white spider lilies” includes the cream and off white colored lilies.
The Sakura Tsutsumi in Yoshimi doesn’t have a flower festival attached to the prime viewing period like the big three famous ones. Without a festival and with information online being concentrated mainly to Instagram, the park still doesn’t get that crowded. In comparison to Kinchakuda and Gongendo anyway. Which, fyi, both have festivals again this year (2022) for the first time in three years.
In 2019, I wrote “However, I will not be surprised if, due to the vast number of photos on Instagram this year and the amount of photographers there today, that next year it will attract even more visitors. ” This turned out to be very true! The number of visitors is definitely increasing year on year!
There is another off the beaten path spider lily viewing spot in the neighboring town of Kawajima – about a 15 minute drive from here. Information here.
Sakura Tsutsumi Park Information
Please note that spider lilies are poisonous and shouldn’t be touched.
|Address:||Iijima Shinden, Yoshimi, Hiki District, Saitama 355-0132|
|Hours:||Open 24 hours|
|Cost:||Free, free parking|
|Online:||Official web page on the Yoshimi Town website|
|JR Takasaki Line Konosu station 5 kilometers away. Access information below.|
The closest train station is over an hour on foot ~ Konosu Station on the JR Takasaki line. You can get a bus to Owada Yoshimi machi bus stop and it is about a 15 minute walk to the flowers.
There is a free municipal car park near the stretch of the embankment beside the Yoshimi Water Plant. It is only a three minute walk to the main section of spider lilies from that car park. In 2019 they resurfaced it and added a fence and marked off car spaces for people with lower mobility. However, I visited today (after republishing this post!) and that car park was closed off. With just a big sign to use the “minami” south car park.
Other things to do in Yoshimi
- Visit a country designated historic site which is also a World War II airplane manufacturing site. AND home to the leprechauns of the Ainu people “koropokkuru” as well as a national natural treasure, luminous moss, at the 100 caves of Yoshimi.
- Pay homage to a kannon of the Bando pilgrimage at the beautiful hilltop Yoshimi Kannon aka Anrakuji.
- Play at the colorful and cute playground at the Ichigo No Sato Roadside station.
- Grab a bite to eat in peace while the kids play with the various toys, bikes and garden attractions at Natural Cafe Sora.
- Climb through the love shaped rock behind the rock front wooden temple that was once on a famous pilgrimmage; Iwamuro kannon.
- Take some shots of the photogenic ghibli-esque open garden “Herbal House“.