Can’t believe it took me more than 2 months just to get done with a trip that lasted less than 2 weeks~ Well, initially I was tempted to just post a photo diary of it all, but I feel it’s unfair to share just the photos for my readers just because those of you who’d like to visit the places after seeing my posts won’t get the chance to do so without the necessary information. I myself went to Japan and Hong Kong without even doing my own research first, and ended up wasting big chunks of time during the trip (including this day … continue reading and you’ll find out why). I didn’t regret doing so though, it all just makes more reasons to revisit one of my favorite cultures in the world~
Anyways, after all the Disney adrenaline rush we had on the previous day, here’s a quieter day to refresh your soul. We visited the famed place for surreal landscapes, the Hitachi Seaside Park … and we didn’t do proper research on when in the time of the year does the flowers bloom. -_- But there’s still stuff to see, so as with our previous Japan 2015 posts, you’ll navigate through this day with the following section of the post, and just come back to these bulleted points whenever you see the upward-pointing arrow (↑) throughout the post.
Hitachi Seaside Park ↑
I’m surprised most people still don’t have a clue what’s Hitachi Seaside Park. Normally I just refer to it as “that place with the Lorax-like bushes you always see in ‘Top 10 Surreal Places in the World’ listicles around the web”123. Unfortunately, we didn’t check the flower calendar properly before we make plans to visit here.
The peak seasons for the 190-hectare park are in fall and spring, when the Kochia and Nemophila are blooming in the respective seasons. The Kochia (scientific name: kochia scoparia) was what I was talking about with the Lorax-like bushes – they turn red during autumn, part of the reason why it’s often referred as a ‘firebush’. More than these fluffy crimson bushes, I was way more excited about the baby-blue fields of Nemophila – which is around only during a short window of time between April to May4. If you refer to the official flower calendar (below), you’ll be able to get an overview already of the lack of flowers during our visit T_T Hard lesson learned: Always research thoroughly.
I highly recommend taking the one-day pass for the trains that go around the park. I mean, you can walk the whole park by foot, especially if you’re a landscape photographer, but if you’re visiting during a certain season when you only want to snap some flowers with remaining park areas you wish to skip, then the train ride’s there for you. There are a total of 10 stops throughout the park, and the full-day pass costs JPY 500 per person.
Ticket information and directions follow below. In the meantime, enjoy my snapshots of the grasslands (please forgive me and don’t focus on how few flowers T____T)~
On a side note: I was once again amazed by the Japanese culture when it comes to quality of life – ALL of the workers in the park are senior citizens. Meaning, old Japanese people don’t just sit and stare at the walls – they make the most meaning out of their last moments (and in the best way possible – being surrounded by mother nature~) by helping people. No wonder they live to very old age, and gracefully so.
Hitachi Seaside Park ひたちなか海浜公園
+81 (0)29 265 9001
- July 21 – August 31 (Summer)
M-S 09:30am – 06:00pm
- September 1 – October 31 (Fall) *PEAK*
T-S 09:30am – 05:00pm
(Mondays closed throughout September)
- November 1 – February end (Winter)
T-S 09:30am – 04:30pm
- March 1 – July 20 (Spring) *PEAK*
T-S 09:30am – 05:00pm
(Mondays closed except on March 26 until May 31)
- JPY 210 for seniors ages 65 years and above
- JPY 410 for adults ages 15 and above
- JPY 80 for children ages 7-14
- FREE for children under 6
(traveling in groups makes fees cheaper. Getting annual passes is also a viable option. See full admission information here)
Easiest way to get there:
Assuming you’re traveling from Tokyo, take the Joban Line 常磐線 from Ueno Station上野駅 to stop at Katsuta Station勝田駅 It will take roughly 70 minutes. From Katsuta, take the east exit and take the Ibaraki Kotsu bus (JPY 400) that’ll take you directly to the Seaside entrance. It will take 15-20 minutes to get you there.
Believe me or not – the last time I was here in Japan, which was with a tour, we didn’t make a stop at Asakusa浅草. The district is famous for the Kannon (goddess of mercy)-dedicated temple, Senso-ji 浅草寺, but traditionally, Asakusa is the entertainment center of Tokyo, along with neighboring district Kuramae 蔵前. Asakusa is the city’s central district for matsuri and other traditional events. All year round, all temples and shrines host at least one event in the area, and surrounding streets would close down for parades, people, and fireworks. It’s also the city’s oldest geisha district, so if you’re lucky, you can see them strolling around the neighborhood as you would in Kyoto’s Gion.
By the time we arrived back at Tokyo from Hitachinaka, the sun has began to set. So we only spent a couple of minutes there, with stores closing down and sister has to go to a store in the area before it closes down. But the next time round, it’s worth getting more up close with the Senso-ji, the Asakusa Shrine itself, the observation deck at Tokyo Skytree (Gudetama cafe!), as weoo as taking a good look at the Asahi Beer Tower for its iconic Flamme d’Or.
+81 (0)3 3842 0181
M-S 06:00am – 05:00pm
- From October to March
M-S 06:00am – 05:00pm
Nearest JR station(s):
- Asakusa 浅草
Next up: Day 7 of 7 | Tokyo: Artnia Cafe, Tokyo Tower, Akihabara, and Kyushu Jangara ramen.
Have you been to Hitachi Seaside Park during its peak season? And what about Asakusa? Do you know any other attractions in the area that wasn’t mentioned on the post so far? Do share if you do~