Even though the cherry blossom season may be winding down, springtime in Japan still offers an array of flowers to admire in these warmer temperatures. In Chiba prefecture, Sakura City Municipal Organization Enforcement hosts the annual Sakura Tulip Festa in the month of April. A field of endless red, yellow and blush colored tulips against a Netherlands windmill backdrop make for a wonderful day with family and friends under the sun.
From Keisei-Sakura Station, take the North Exit to locate the city bus. For just 100yen each way, in ten minutes travel time you will spot the windmill and arrive at Sakura Oldness & Open Space. Lake Inba runs parallel to the tulip farm and is the source for the developed lush marsh. For 1,000yen (Adults) and 500yen (Child), you can go sightseeing on the pleasure boat adorned with Japanese lanterns.
The most prevalent flower on the farm was the Sunny Yellow Tulip, a sure sign of Spring! It was the perfect frame for all photographers, especially when visitors took advantage of wearing the traditional “Dutch Maid” Netherland costumes: pointed lace caps, striped aprons and wooden clogs. Just around the corner from the souvenir shop, you will find a portable dressing room full of colorful aprons and a staff member available to assist with the costumes. You can walk the tulip fields, fully clad, for 45 minutes and 1,000yen. So, why not give it a try!
Made in the Netherlands and assembled in Sakura, the windmill “De Liefde” was built in 1994 and serves as a landmark for Sakura Furusato Square and as a symbol of goodwill between Japan and the Netherlands. It is the first wind-driven water pump in Japan. The tower is 15.6 meters high and is made of brick and four levels of reinforced concrete. To draw water, the horizontal shaft is powered by energy from the wind; once rotated, the water wheel on the ground floor rotates. You can explore inside and upstairs into the windmill as long as you take off your shoes.
Feeling hungry? There are many pop-up booths along the walking path serving yakisoba, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, snow cones, and tapioca drinks to name a few. Tables and benches are placed throughout the farm, or you can be adventurous and have a picnic along the river. When you’re finished with your meal, visit the mini market for local vegetables, snacks, drinks and Dutch themed souvenirs for a reasonable price.
If weather permits, rent a bike for the day at the farm. For just 500yen, feel the sun kiss your cheeks and the wind in your hair while riding the mamachari along Lake Inba. Can the springtime get any better than this?
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Originally from San Diego, California, I lived in Japan for 4-1/2 years and now I am currently based out of Honolulu, Hawaii. In December 2010, I arrived in Yokosuka with a new outlook on my future. Mainly, to refocus on family and let my curiosities take us to places we’ve only dreamt of. Along the way, we’d hopefully develop new friendships and simply collect memories to last a lifetime. Then, there was the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. I will never forget that experience and the devastating effects it had on the entire country. I asked the community, “What can I do to help?” Collecting, sorting, and packing donations, was the least I could do. I also ended up going back to California for one month, raised a small monetary donation for Red Cross, and secured a few phone interviews to help spread the word on how others from the United States could assist. I was determined to show my family, friends, and folks across the world that it would be okay to return to Japan. After all, I wanted them to know that all of the little things that make up this beautiful country still existed. What better way than to use a platform such as JapanTravel.com to share photos and stories full of life, history, and culture. It is a pleasure to say I have contributed more than 150 articles to a database that now collectively holds more than 15,000! This journey has not only allowed me to realize my initial goals, but I’d like to think that it has somehow played a role in sparking an interest locally and across the globe for others to experience all that is published here and more. I invite you to also share your wonderful stories, offer comments, and ask questions right here on JapanTravel. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Safe travels! ٩( ๑╹ ꇴ╹)۶