Summer flowers around the central gate of Shinrin Park, aka Musashi Kyuryo National Government Park, Namegawa in the Hiki District of Saitama Prefecture. Written in 2020, but the flowers are often the same year on year. I update this post if there is a change in what they are growing in a year. No matter what summer flowers they grow, Shinrin park is always colorful in summer. They have a particularly beautiful selection of summer flowers annually.
The weather forecast predicted a cloudy day, not ideal for photographing flowers, but great for avoiding sunburn and sunstroke. I thought it would comfortable weather for a five kilometre walk to take in the summer flowers in Shinrin Park. However, two kilometres in and after I had left the sunflower field, the sun came out. And it stayed out and I have the sunburn (despite sun block) to prove it! I have such a love-hate relationship with Japanese summer. But I am delighted to have seen Shinrin’s Park fine selection of summer blooms in 2020.
Shinrin Park is what we call Musashi Kyuryo Park locally and has become the most common name used for Japan’s very first national government park.
Summer Flowers in Shinrin Park
Shinrin Park is so vast and diverse it is lovely to spend a whole day exploring it. Maybe hire a bike to see all corners of the park within the same day. But if you are under time constraints, as I was today, and want to concentrate on seasonal blooms, I recommend parking at the central gate. From there you can take in:
- Sunflowers – late June to late July, but in 2022 they are blooming mid August!
- Yamayuri / Lilium Auratum / Gold banded lilies – July
- Coleus – end of July until middle of October
- Hydrangea – June until middle of July
- Cock’s comb – end of August until early October
- Kochia – small display July / August (main is in Autumn)
The sunflowers in Shinrin Park are located near to the Pompoko Mountain which is about 1.3 kilometres from the central gate. If you cut through the wood, it is just over a kilometre. It is not a huge display, but it is very picturesque. Due to the windy and hilly paths, it takes about 15 minutes on foot from the central gate. There are toilets, a water fountain and a large gasebo close to the flower fields and Pompoko mountain. They often start to bloom around the end of June, but in 2022 they are well late! They started blooming early August.
Yamayuri are a type of lily native to Japan. In recent years people call them by the Japanese name rather than translating it. Yamayuri literally means mountain lily, but they are considered a type of gold band or golden rayed lily. The scientific classification in English is Lilium auratum.
You can see Yamayuri in various places along the walk from the sunflowers to the coleus flowers. Around a kilometre into the walk from the sunflowers in the direction of the coleus, there is a “yamayuri lane”. It is a beautiful path in a wooded area with wild golden band lilies. In 2022, they started to bloom on July 5th.
In 2020, Shinrin Park grew coleus flowers for the first time in six years. And they will be back in 2021 and 2022 too. They have actually already started to bloom July 7th 2022, but they are very low still. As the weeks go on they become fuller. Usually you can see them until early October. Honest to God, my heart skipped a beat as I approached them. Even though not particularly big, the display is truly magnificent. The coleus are about 600 meters from the yamayuri if you are walking from the sunflowers.
I had intended to walk from the coleus up to the botanical gardens where there are even more summer flowers to be found. But it was just too hot at this point. So I decided to head back to the car. There is a short cut by the lake from beside the coleus. And at the start of the short cut, there is one of two water play areas (the smaller of the two) in the park. Which in 2022, for the first time in three years, will reopen on July 23rd. This water play area, a wading stream, is back dropped by hydrangea in June and early July. However, they were still holding on the last week of July in 2020. Sorry the photo isn’t great, I think my camera is as allergic to the heat / sun as I am!
Water play in 2022
They also usually grow Cock’s comb (plumed cockscomb, rooster comb, celosia) which come into bloom around the end of August 2020. However, each year they grow them in a different location. I already have a detailed post on the blog about the cock’s comb with lots of photos:
The autumn Kochia are normally where the sunflowers currently are. However, you can also see some kochia by the water feature at the central gate in July. It is only a small display, but the kochia are currently a fern green and already a decent size.
This is just a small selection of the summer blooms in Shinrin Park. if time allows, there are even more flowers to be enjoyed in the botanical garden.
Shinrin Park information
For even more information about things to do in Shinrin Park, please see the article with the park’s offerings summarized (click here).
|Address:||1920 Yamata, Namegawa, Hiki District, Saitama 355-0802|
|Hours:||9.30 am to 5 pm during summer. There will be “early morning hours” on July 23rd, 24th, 30 and 31st, and from August 6th to 14th. On those dates the west and central gates open from 7 am.|
|Cost:||450 yen per adult, children can enter for free. Parking costs 650 yen per day in the official car parks.|