This is not a well-known fact, but there are huge lotus fields in Minami (southern) Echizen in Fukui prefecture. This area is called 'Lotus Town' (Hanahasu-no Sato) for a reason. Out of all commercial lotus flowers in Japan, 60% of them are grown here in a vast 130,000㎡ lotus fields (equivalent to the size of 10 Tokyo Domes!). For tourists, flower lovers and avid photographers, the town of Minami Echizen has an extensive lotus fields/park called, 'Hanahasu Koen (Lotus Park)', at the foot of Mt. Somayama, to visit and enjoy.
Lotus Park itself has several lotus ponds inside, but what will surprise you most is a vast field that spreads out in front of it just across a narrow street. There, lots and lots of lotus flowers are grown, and when they are in full bloom the sight of it will just take your breath away.
And here is the important part and the reason why this place can be a Photographer's Heaven: Since they are fields, not ponds, there are several narrow paths across them. You don't have to ride in a boat to get a closer look, but you can walk through the fields and see them up-close. If you are a photographer, this is a great chance to have/practice micro shots! Also, since this place is not well-known, even during their 'Lotus Festival' from late July to early August, on weekdays not many people visit here. Even if there are many people, the place is huge, so it won't feel crowded at all! Plus, the surrounding nature is just beautiful. The place is located at the foot of some mountains, so whenever you look up from lotus flowers and look around, you'll see green trees everywhere. Birds chirping, frogs croaking, dragonflies floating in the air...what an idyllic, lovely place for a nature lover! But even though this is a rural part of a rural prefecture, the park is highly accessible. Also, there is an Onsen hotel just next to the Lotus Park, so, if you'd like to take photos of lotus flowers in the very early morning you can just jump out of your futon, grab your camera and go out and presto! - lovely lotus fields will be waiting just for you in front of your hotel! How convenient!
I visited the park/fields in mid August, but it wasn't too late. There were still lots of flowers about to bloom from now. Even if you see some flowers that have already died in one part of the fields, you can surely find other flowers in other part of the fields that are in full bloom or about to bloom! It was just after a storm had passed through Fukui and the fields and flowers were wet and fresh. There weren't many people there, probably less than ten people in the vast fields, and I went photo crazy! I took photo after photo for three long hours but it wasn't enough to cover the entire group of fields. I have to go back again.
As you can see, 'Hanahasu Koen (Lotus Park)' in southern Echizen, Fukui, is a photographer's, and flower/nature lover's heaven, and I truly recommend that you come visit here in summer. The nearest train station is JR Nanjo Station (30min from JR Fukui Station), and then a short taxi ride (8-10min) to the park.
For other information about this lovely Lotus Park, please refer to other articles on Japan Travel listed as below.
Articles/Photos of Lotus Park in Southern Echizen
- Lotus Heaven in Fukui
- Fukui's Hotel Somayama
- Photographer's Lotus Heaven, Fukui
- Echizen Lotus Photo Collection - 1
- Echizen Lotus Photo Collection - 2
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I was born in and grew up in Tokushima prefecture, and have lived in many places since then: Nishinomiya, Kyoto, Nara, Mie, Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Fukuoka and Fukui. I am currently living in Yokohama City. All the places I lived, all the places I visited, I have loved dearly. The historical places where people lived, loved, suffered, and fought - places where I can still hear their heartbeats - mesmerize me. I'd like to retrace the footsteps of the people who lived in Japan a long long time ago, and introduce to you what they left behind on this soil.