Said to symbolize everything from good luck to romance and prosperity to honor, peonies are popular in many countries around the globe. There are a number of great destinations to enjoy these flowers across the country, and this guide covers five of them.
Ueno Toshogu Shrine, Tokyo
The peony garden on the grounds of Ueno Toshogu Shrine was opened back in 1980 in recognition of Sino-Japanese friendship, since peonies were introduced to Japan from China for medicinal purposes in the Nara Period. The garden is home to approximately 600 peony plants which comprise of around 110 varieties, and visitors will find numerous places around the grounds that make for incredibly picturesque photo spots. A festival is typically held at the shrine when the flowers are at their best.
9-88 Uenokoen, Taito City, Tokyo 110-0007
Sukagawa Peony Garden, Fukushima
Sukagawa Peony Garden in Fukushima displays an impressive 7000 peony flowers in 290 different varieties across a space of approximately 10 hectares. The garden is so picturesque that it was designated as one of Japan's Special Places of Scenic Beauty back in 1952.
For history buffs, the garden has interesting origins. Peonies were first cultivated here in 1766 using seeds from Settsu Province (modern-day Hyogo Prefecture). The rationale behind the planting was to use the peony roots for medicinal purposes, but that has since evolved to simply enjoying the flowers for their aesthetic qualities.
68 Botanen, Sukagawa, Fukushima 962-0815
Saitama's Botanen opened in 1990 and is one of the leading peony gardens in the Kanto region – it's home to an incredible 6500 peony flowers from around 100 varieties during peak season. The garden hosts various festivals celebrating the flowers during the year, including a springtime event that typically runs from mid-April until the end of Golden Week.
1148-1 Oya, Higashimatsuyama, Saitama 355-0008
Mobara Peony Garden, Chiba
Chiba's Mobara Peony Garden prides itself on creating a simple and natural display of peonies, with around 2500 of the flowers in various types for visitors to enjoy. The garden typically hosts a festival when the flowers are at their best, with dates announced on their official website closer to the peak blooming period.
210 Yamasaki, Mobara, Chiba 297-0061
Yuushien Garden is a destination revered for its beauty in any season, but it's most famous for its springtime peonies. Approximately 250 types of peonies can be found on display here, along with other blooms like azaleas, rhododenrons, and irises to name just a few. One of the most famous scenes at the garden is when around 30,000 cut peonies are placed on the water of Yuushien's pond, creating an incredibly picturesque view.
1260-2 Yatsukacho Hanyu, Matsue, Shimane 690-1492