Summer flowers around the central gate of Shinrin Park, Namegawa, in 2020.
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
- 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.
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.
This year, 2020, Shinrin Park grew coleus flowers for the first time in six years. And they will be back in 2021 too. They have just come into bloom and will be on display 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. However, in 2020 and 2021 both are closed on account of the Coronavirus. This water play area, a wading stream, is back dropped by hydrangea in June and early July. However, they are still holding on even now as we approach the last week of July. Sorry the photo isn’t great, I think my camera is as allergic to the heat / sun as I am!
Beside the sunflowers they are already preparing the Cock’s comb (plumed cockscomb, rooster comb, celosia) which will come into bloom at the end of August 2020. (However, in 2021 they will be in a different location – outlined in the cock’s comb event post linked below). They will grow Kochia, where the sunflowers currently are, in September. But you already see some Kochia in the park. I already have a detailed post on the blog about the cock’s comb with lots of photos:
The autumn Kochia will be where the sunflowers currently are. However, you can already see some kochia by the water feature at the central gate. 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.
I will be sharing even more photos my Instagram here, in the coming days.
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 is also early morning hours on August 1st, 2nd and from the 8th to the 16th. 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.|