Guide to Enjoying Lotus Viewing - 1
Beautiful lotus (hasu) ponds exist all over Japan
The Japanese Lotus - The most beautiful flower in the world
Whether you are interested in photographing the beautiful Japanese lotus (hasu), or just want to enjoy viewing them, there are a lot of great lotus ponds all around Japan. A symbol of enlightenment, the Japanese Lotus is the most beautiful flower in the world; It is extremely tall, its gorgeous green leaves are enormous, and the flower (pink, red, or white) is beautiful - before, during, and after blooming.
Generally speaking, the lotus is in bloom from mid-July to mid-August, but like the cherry blossom, that can differ depending on the location (north or south), that year's weather, and the type of lotus.
This, then, is a simple guide of some lotus ponds and places that I have been to personally and recommend. Also check out the provided links for each.
By the way, in future articles, I would like to share information on additional locations that have been recommended by other lotus-lovers. So, if you have been to any other special lotus places that you know about, please let me/us know!
1. Sankei-en Garden in Yokohama
Not far from my home, I try to visit this pond a few times each summer. On weekends, the gates open at 6AM, so you can get there before the crowds show up. The lotus pond is to the right, just inside the gate.
2. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura
This one is hit or miss. When I used to live in Kamakura 10 years ago, this lotus pond was magnificent every year. But in 2013 there were almost no lotus at all. This year, it was much better than the year before, but still not as good as it used to be.
3. Kodaihasu-no-sato (Ancient Lotus Village) in Gyoda
What a great find this was! There are some lotus near the parking area, but then also five large ponds spread out around the park. This one is hard to get to though. You will either need to go by car or taxi. Very limited bus access.
4. Shinobazu Pond in Ueno Park
This lotus pond is enormous! Just strolling the perimeter will take an hour or so! You can also walk through the middle of the pond via the zoo, but there is an entrance fee for that.
5. Hanahasu Lotus Park in Minami Echizen
This one might be my favorite, just because there is a hotel right beside this huge, huge lotus park. Get up at 6AM, walk out the door, and there it is! And the lotus are truly gorgeous!
*I will be back with Part 2, hopefully introducing other great lotus locations all over Japan, from Hokkaido to Okinawa!