Takinoiri is a countryside area in Moroyama Town in the Iruma-gun of Saitama Prefecture. This remote rural scenic town is only about an hour from North West Tokyo by car. Unfortunately, by public transport it is a little trickier to get to and takes considerably longer. However, if you want to see a rural rose garden backdropped by hillside forest this is a spot worth considering. If you time it right you can also see Yuzu trees in bloom. Moroyama is famous for Yuzu. Moreover, Moroyama has been producing Yuzu for longer than anywhere else in all of Japan. Although, I think it is probably most famous for its yabusame – horseback archery.
Takinoiri rose garden
At Takinoiri Rose garden there are approximately 1500 roses of 350 varieties in the 2800 square meter rose garden in Moroyama. Therefore, it is not a particularly large rose garden, but its very popular. there are also carnations and Lady’s Glove (Foxglove) in the garden. The garden was first opened in 2000, but it moved location and reopened as it is today in 2009. Within the garden there are rose tunnels and rose domes. In a non pandemic year there are several places to sit, but this year there are only a couple of places. They’ve turned the benches back to front so you can’t sit on them.
Much to my surprise, this morning there were dozens of people visiting from all over the Kanto plain. I talked to three different groups of women and one couple. All of whom have been visiting the garden annually for years. Supposedly the condition of the roses aren’t as impressive as other years. One woman speculated they are past their prime, but supposedly they only started to bloom last week, just before the gardens were open to the public.
The Takinoiri rose garden is tucked away behind the “Morobito no Kan” on the west end of the Yuzu no Sato campsite. It is only open to the public twice a year – first during the spring rose season and then during the autumn rose season. Last year the garden didn’t open in spring on account of the State of Emergency. However, this year they opened and are open right now (May 24th 2021). You need to wear a mask and sanitize your hands at reception in order to enter the garden.
Takinoiri Rose festival
The spring 2021 rose festival is running to May 31st (all things being equal). There is free entry to the rose gardens for the autumn roses, but for the spring rose festival there is a cover charge of 300 yen for adults. In spring the garden opens from 9 am to 4 pm during the period of the festival. In autumn the garden is open from 9 am to 3 pm. You can get the dates for subsequent seasons and most up-to-date information for both the spring and autumn festival on the event post.
Here are 9 other places to see roses in Saitama Prefecture including another in Moroyama town.
Moroyama has been producing Yuzu for longer than anywhere else in Japan. Yuzu is the official tree of Moroyama town. Yuzu is a citrus fruit, very similar to a lemon in appearance. However, much larger. In one way it looks like a yellow colored orange. They are the fruit you see in the capybara hot springs. Japanese people often put yuzu in the bath in winter. Apart from the refreshing citrus aroma that promotes relaxation, it is said that the rind in the water releases an oil nomilin which improves circulation. It is a tradition to put the citrus fruit in the bath on winter solstice in particular. A yuzu bath on winter solstice is believed to ward off both colds and bad spirits! The Takinoiri area has hundreds, if not thousands, of Yuzu trees.
About a twenty minute walk from the rose garden is the entrance to “Yuzu Walkway” or “Yuzu Promenade”. In the Japanese language: Yuzu no Sanpomichi ゆずの散歩道. The path runs alongside Katsuragi river on one side and Yuzu orchards on the other. Fireflies can be seen along this walk for a short period in early summer. The town ask that if you come across them to take due care and it goes without saying that you should not try and catch them.
About 500 meters along the walkway, just at Mona cafe*, the orchards are replaced by road on the right hand side. To continue walking on the Yuzu path, you need to cross over the stream here on stepping stones. Then, the yuzu start up again about 200 meters up the path. I only walked about a kilometer of the Yuzu path, but it seems to go on for at least twice that. Right up to Katsuragi Kannon, where there is a great sunrise viewing platform. Past the Kannon, the Katsuragi Pass – a hiking trail – starts.
I had read on the Moroyama town website that the trees flower from mid to the end of May. However, today there were no sign of blossoms. The trees were completely green. I can only assume that they either bloomed early – like so many other flowers and blossoms this year – or that they went straight to green without flowering. That happened with quite a few Kawazu sakura spots in Saitama Prefecture this year. The trees bear fruit in Autumn.
*Mona Cafe mentioned above only opens three days a week. However, it is currently temporarily closed. Presumably due to the pandemic. In a “normal” year they also have an open garden during spring rose season. Also, when you are walking from Takinoiri Rose Garden to the Yuzu Promenade, you pass another beautiful open garden. Distinguishable with the mini tree house in the garden. However, that open garden is also closed this year presumably due to the Coronavirus.
|Takinoiri Rose Garden|
|Address:||910 Takinori, Moroyama, Iruma Gun, Saitama Prefecture 〒350-0456 Japan|
|Hours:||Spring – May 18th to May 31st|
Autumn – usually October / November
Access Rose Garden Takinori
The garden is located about a 25 to 30 minutes drive from both the Tsurugashima Interchange on the Kanetsu expressway and the Ken-o Tsurugashima interchange on the ken-o expressway. The garden doesn’t come up in most car navigation systems, but the entrance to the parking for the rose garden is shared with Yuzu No Sato. And the car park is in the “Morobito no Kan”. Both of them come up on Google maps. There is free parking for 100 cars, but only about 20 cars fit in the main car park at the Morobito no Kan.
By public transport its a bit tricky. There is only a very infrequent town loop bus that goes on weekdays and the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. More information here (Japanese language only). Alternatively, you can walk from the train station, it takes about 35 minutes on foot from Moro Station on the Hachioji line. You can also walk from Higashi moro Station on the Tobu Ogose line. It takes about 45 minutes.