Sunflowers in Kawajima at the Shimoyatsubayashi flower field and Lotus Flowers in Heisei No Mori
Kawajima July 2020
Sunflowers bloom in Japan from as early as the end of June until as late as early September. In Saitama Prefecture, generally you can see sunflowers from mid July. Some places grow them earlier, some later. But guaranteed that by the end of July and until the middle of August you can see sunflowers in Saitama Prefecture. Unfortunately, in 2020 due to the Coronavirus outbreak several sunflower fields have decided not to open to the public this year. However, some of the smaller sunflower fields are open, such as in the Shimoyatsubayashi area of Kawajima town.
Sunflower Fields Kawajima
Part of the sign in the photo above reads “it’ll be great if lots of the sunflowers bloom”. So far it looks like there will indeed be “lots” of them this year. Unfortunately, I can’t find a figure online of how many they plant. There aren’t hundreds of thousands, but maybe around 2,000? I am completely guessing! This year we have had a lot of rainy and cloudy days, so the sunflowers were still far from “ready” today! They will be a lot more photogenic in a couple of weeks.
Sunflower picking in Kawajima
The sunflower fields in Shimoyatsubayashi aren’t particularly well known. Until Instagram came along it was really only locals that came to enjoy the sunflowers here. However, what put them on the radar is that you can pick the flowers here. And for free. Not all the time, only after they have been in full bloom for a few weeks. When the time is right, they put up a sign so that you know when you can pick the flowers. Free flower picking is actually quite rare in Japan, hence these fields have attracted some attention in recent years.
Unlike in my home country, you can’t pick flowers in Japan unless you have permission to do so. Not even flowers growing on the side of the road. However, there are exceptions, such as wild flowers in the mountains and rapeseed along river embankments. Speaking of rapeseed, Kawajima has one of the most stunning rapeseed embankments that blooms from February to April. And bonus: it is completely off the beaten path. Make sure to check it out here (click).
From September the community grow cosmos in the same fields. Like with the sunflowers, they allow picking of the cosmos for free as the season starts to wind down. More information on this blog here.
Sunflowers Kawajima Information
The sunflower field in Kawajima is located to the West of the Kawajima Town Hall and Heisei no Mori Park. There is nowhere to park, but when there is only a couple of other visitors there most people park on the side of the road. However, the best place to park is at the town hall’s back car park. It is only a two minute walk to the fields from there.
|Address:||870-1 Shimoyatsubayashi, Kawajima, Hiki District 350-0122|
|Period:||The sunflowers bloom from early July to mid August. Flower picking is from around the start of August.|
|Online:||Official Kawajima Tourism website|
Lotus flowers Kawajima
Across the road to the North of the town hall is Heisei No Mori park. Currently lotus flowers are in bloom in the park, but they are not in their prime yet. I took the above photo today July 11th. They typically start to bloom from end of June to mid August. Ironically, they are a little late this year. Most other blooms this year were early, so it was expected summer blooms would be too.
Other seasonal blooms at the park
The park is best known for its roses. The park boasts the largest rose tunnel in Japan. There is always at least one rose blooming in the park, but the main seasons are in spring and autumn. The spring roses bloom in April and May. And the autumn roses bloom around November.
Other summer blooms include iris and hydrangea. The park has a small, but nice iris marsh. They bloom in June.You can actually still see a few hydrangea, but they are past their peak and will not last for much longer. The hydrangea in the park are very picturesque when they are in full bloom around mid June.
Lotus flowers Kawajima Information
If you have parked at the town hall for the sunflowers, you don’t need to move your car. The lotus in the park are only about ten minutes on foot from the sunflower fields. Of course, you can always park at Heisei no Mori and walk to the sunflowers from there too.
|Address:||920 Shimoyatsubayashi, Kawajima, Hiki District, 350-0122|
|Hours:||24 hours, but the car park closes at 9 pm|
|Cost:||Free and free parking|
|Online:||Official webpage on the town’s official website|
The Shimoyatsubayashi area is located about a kilometer from the Kawajima Interchange of the Ken-o expressway. By public transport its a little tricky, with only infrequent buses running from Kawagoe or Wakaba stations on the Tobu Tojo line. The park is a 20 minute walk from 「川島農協前」(Kawajima Nokyou mae) bus stop.
In the area
Fueki Shoyu Park is well worth a visit if you are in the area. And if you time it right you can take a free factory tour too:
Other attractions in the area:
Kawamin House public children’s community center with outdoor and indoor play areas.
Toyama Memorial Museum a period house with a museum and landscaped garden.
Bokuranote Dog Cafe and dog shelter, which just opened last year.