Secret hydrangea in Okegawa

Secret hydrangea in Okegawa: this post is aimed at long term residents of Japan, who have been to all the famous hydrangea spots and / or are looking for somewhere quiet to photograph hydrangea this year. If you are only going to have one hydrangea season in Japan, I highly recommend prioritizing such places as Satte Gongendo Park, Nogoji and the Kisai area of Kazo.

–For many years while driving to Enomoto Farm I often saw a signpost for “Fujimi Hotaru Shinsui Park”. The park was a slight detour from my route, so I never stopped to investigate. Until the pandemic! In 2020, while we were still avoiding the masses, and right around the time fireflies would normally be glowing, I thought to finally check it out.

Fujimi Hotaru Shinsui Park

Fujimi written with the kanji for Mount Fuji and mi as in to see, normally means “Mt Fuji view”. Moreover, it normally is reserved for places that have a view of Japan’s iconic mountain, even, as in this case, more than 150 kilometers away. However, as far as I can tell, you can’t see Mt Fuji from this park anymore. I can only assume that at one point you could. Hotaru means firefly (fireflies) and shinsui means water park.

I brought the kids in the hope of seeing fireflies. Although, truth be told I wasn’t too hopeful as there was absolutely nothing on the Okegawa City website about the park at the time. Interestingly, Okegawa City added information to their website for the park in March this year! On visiting the park, it was soon apparent that the firefly house has long been left to ruin. Mores the shame. The observatory is still there, but it is completely locked up and quite rightly too as it looks like a bit of a death trap! I’d say in its prime it was quite a nice place to view fireflies. I am hopeful though that seen as Okegawa added the park to their website this year, that maybe they are planning to do some work on the firefly house. Who knows!?

Secret Hydrangea

There are dozens of hydrangea bushes at the park.

Finding some really beautiful hydrangea in the park was a pleasant surprise for me. But apart from the hydrangea there really is nothing else in the park. Moreover, it is really small, so we didn’t stay long. But the kids did enjoy running around uninhibited with the park all to themselves. There is an old public toilet (use at your own risk) and parking for about ten cars and that’s it. There isn’t even a vending machine.

Okegawa Cherry blossoms and rapeseed at Fujimi Hotaru Shinsui Park
Cherry blossoms and rapeseed in spring

But we have been back a few times since! Each summer to see the secret hydrangea and each spring to see a cherry blossom and rapeseed combination. The cherry blossoms are along a small river, more like a brook, and the rapeseed grow on the embankment! I presume the presence of the river beside the park is why the park name has the word “shinsui” in it!

>>A safflower spot within walking distance – the safflower bloom around the same time.<<

>>Don’t miss this hydrangea spot relatively nearby<<

>>Another secret spot in the area, but for gingko trees!<<


Hydrangea spot: Fujimi Hotaru Shinsui Park 富士見ホタル親水公園

Season: June

Hours: the park is open 24 hours, but there is no lighting in the park. Moreover, the parking lot closes at 5 pm.

Cost: free.

Venue: Fujimi Hotaru Shinsui Park, 富士見ホタル親水公園 Okegawa, Saitama 363-0027, Japan. View on Google Maps.


The city loop bus actually goes relatively close as it stops at Izumi no Gakuen, which is beside the aforementioned secret gingko spot! The Izumi no Gakuen bus stop is only a three minute walk from the park. Please note that the road that leads into the park is a narrow country road. If you are coming by car it is best advised to approach the park from the west from route 57.

Official web page.


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