Seasonal blooms including daffodils, cherry blossoms, hydrangea, sunflowers and spider lilies at Gongendo Park, Satte, Saitama
Gongendo is a prefectural park located in Satte city in the North East of Saitama Prefecture. The park has
three four separate parts. Currently there is a number 1, 3 and 4 park. Update 2023: number 2 park is now also open to the public. Most of the flowers and blooms are in the number four (#4) park, which is also called Gongendo Sakura Zutsumi.
There is a cafe in the park, right by the main car park. Only the main car park is open all year round. Car park #2 and other overflow car parks are only open during busy periods such as the cherry blossom and hydrangea seasons. There are plenty of toilets in the park. And there is a selection of vending machines in the main car park.
There is a wee little goat “farm” in the park. Its not really a farm, but it is home to four goats. They are out in the court yard between 10 am and 4 pm on a dry day. You can’t feed them or anything, but they seem quite friendly. Its free to drop by and see them.
Parks 1 and 3
Park number 3 is on the opposite side of the Naka river to this, the flower park. Park #3 has exercise equipment and plum blossoms. Moreover, in 2022 they are growing Lupine flowers. Currently, that’s about all, but they are working on the area. The parks are connected by bridges. You can get to park 3 from park 4 via a picturesque bridge. From park 3 you cross over the river by another bridge to get to park #1. The playground is in park #1. It also has sports grounds. However, its a good 30 minute walk. Officially, its address is Kuki! Even by car, its six minutes away. But there is another car park at the #1 park.
Park 2 aka Happy Park
The #2 park, which local school children named Happy Park, opened officially in 2023. It has a nice playground with some unusual equipment.
Seasonal blooms at Gongendo Park
Flowers bloom at the park all year round, but there are four principle flower displays – one in each season. In winter daffodils bloom. In spring, cherry blossoms grow. The cherry blossoms are probably the most famous bloom of the park. Furthermore, they grow with rapeseed creating a beautiful contrast of yellow and pink. Moreover, you can see rapeseed (canola flower / nanohana) even in winter. In summer, the hydrangea bloom. In addition, since 2020 you can also see sunflowers at Satte Gongendo Park. And finally, in Autumn the spider lilies color the park red. The spider lilies are also quite famous in the Kanto plain. There is plenty of information online, and indeed this blog, about both the cherry blossoms and spider lilies in the park. Below, some information for the two lesser known floral displays: daffodils and hydrangea.
Gongendo Park Daffodils
There are a few places renowned for their daffodils in Saitama, but I think Gongendo park is probably the best known of them all. It is one of the larger displays anyhow, with half a million daffodils in the park in a normal year. However, since the pandemic began they hadn’t maintained the daffodils and supposedly there are less than normal this year (2023). The daffodils were first planted in 2005 and over the years they increased the size of the display. There are at least three different varieties, including beautiful yellow daffodils. The park posted on December 2nd 2022 to say that some of the daffodils on the South East end of the avenue of cherry blossoms are currently in bloom.
The park normally has a festival during the bloom period. The Satte Daffodil Festival (also known as the Narcissus Festival) is generally held from early January to mid February. However, in 2021 and 2022 with the pandemic there was no festival. However, they have confirmed they will have a daffodil festival in 2023. It will be shorter than normal, starting in mid January instead of the usual early January.
When I visited to see the daffodils in 2021, there were also a few other blooms in the park. For example, there were some wintersweet blooming. There are only about a dozen trees, enough to give off the divine sweet smell that wintersweet is renowned for. There are also plum blossoms that bloom in late winter – early spring. There are plum blossoms in park #4, but – as I said above – the main display is in park #3.
In more recent years the hydrangea are also enjoying acclaim, especially the Annabelle variety which the park is renowned for. There are about 16,000 hydrangea of 100 different varieties in total at Satte Gongendo Park, of which approximately 3000 are of the Annabelle variety.
The main Annabelle display is right by the main car park. Near the goat enclosure you’ll find two promenades of colorful hydrangea. Due to the large quantity of varieties you can see hydrangea for about a month – the month of June – at the park. However, generally the middle two weeks of June are the best for the dramatic view of thousands of hydrangea in bloom together. In addition, there are some summer cosmos and mini sunflowers in bloom in June too.
Information for the 2022 hydrangea festival:
The sunflowers are the latest addition to the park, but it looks like they are gearing up to make it another “highlight” of the park. 2020 was actually the first ever year the park had a large sunflower display. Approximately 30,000 sunflowers were planted in the inaugural year. Due to the success of cultivating them and the interest in and popularity of them, in 2021, they planted three times the amount of sunflowers. In 2022, there are approximately 100,000 sunflowers over 16500 hectares.
As the sunflowers had only ever bloomed during the pandemic, there was no talk of a sunflower festival… until 2023. In 2023 they will have the first ever sunflower “festival” – they are calling it Gongendo Sunflower Walk. The period of the event is from mid July to the end of July and on Friday 21st, Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd they will have food trucks in the park.
The spider lilies in Gongendo park have a post (event post) of their own:
The cherry blossoms at Gongendo Park also have a post (event post) of their own. It includes information for the kawazu early blooming cherry blossoms, which in 2024 started to open on the 15th of February:
Other seasonal blooms
Apart from the flowers and blossoms outlined above, there are other smaller displays of flowers at Satte Gongendo park. They include, but are not limited to:
- Wintersweet in winter
- Mini sunflowers in summer
- Summer cosmos
- Kochia in summer / autumn
Hours: in theory the park is open 24 hours. However, the car park closes overnight.
Address: Gongendo Park 権現堂公園, 887-3 Uchigouma, Satte, Saitama 340-0103
Access Gongendo Park
By public transport; You can take a bus from Satte Station on the Tobu Nikko line. It is the Asahi Bus bound for Goka Machi Yakuba. Alight at “Gongendo” bus stop. It costs 170 yen one way. (Please do confirm this route as there maybe changes due to the State of Emergency). The bus stop is on the South end of the park.
By car, the park is about a ten minute drive from the Satte Interchange of the Ken-o expressway. One thing to note is that Google Maps automatically brought me in from the West, along route 371. However, you’re not supposed to turn into the park from here as you are on the “wrong” side of the road. If you actually come onto route 371 from the North, using the Nikko Kaido aka National Route 4, it is safer and legal!