Japan is blessed with an abundant array of flora to enjoy throughout the year, which encompasses every color of the rainbow - and every season! Read on for some inspiration on what to see in your favorite hue.
Spider lilies, or higanbana in Japanese, bloom around September. The flower was originally introduced to Japan from China, and aside from their beauty, they have some handy properties from a crop-growing perspective! Because their bulbs are poisonous, they've often been planted to help keep pests away. Their vibrant red hue can be enjoyed at the annual Manjushage Festival in Koma, Saitama Prefecture, at Tokyo's Koishikawa Korakuen Garden, around Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture, and around the Asakura Ruins in Fukui Prefecture's Ichijodani Valley to name a few.
Sure, they're not technically a flower (for those interested, they come under the classification of an annual herb), but it would be hard not to include them! The stunning scene below can be found at Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki Prefecture around the mid-October timeframe.
Pretty fields of lilies in various colors - including many orange ones - can be found at Tsukioka Park in the Uonuma area of Niigata Prefecture. The park has around 10,000 lilies in bloom throughout June and July, and you'll also find children's play areas, barbecue facilities, all-weather tennis courts and even a golf driving range here. Fun for the whole family!
One of the iconic signs of Japan's summer are sunflowers, and there are numerous spots across the country to enjoy them. There's Kiyose City, which is home to Tokyo's largest sunflower event, and Kanagawa's Zama Sunflower Festival for another fantastic option not far from the city limits. Further afield there are events such as the Akeno Sunflower Festival in Yamanashi and the Tsunan Sunflower Park in Niigata that showcase their cheerful beauty.
These bushes are much more famous when they've turned their trademark autumnal red, but kochia are still beautiful when they're green! Like many of the flowers on this list, Ibaraki's Hitachi Seaside Park is a wonderful place to enjoy them. You'll find them in their green color from mid-July to around late September, and in early-October they take on their greenish-red gradient as they begin their seasonal change.
Nemophila, also commonly referred to as baby blue eyes, are a springtime favorite in Japan. One of the best spots to enjoy them is Ibaraki Prefecture's Hitachi Seaside Park, where the flowers literally blanket the ground. Further south, Fukuoka's Uminonakamichi Seaside Park also boasts fields dedicated to this pretty bloom.
Hydrangeas, or ajisai as they are known in Japanese, come in a variety of hues - and the color all depends on the pH level of the soil! You'll find blues, purples, pinks, whites, and even indigo depending on alkalinity or acidity. Hydrangeas are a rainy season flower (around the June timeframe in Japan), and there are plenty of places to enjoy them across the country. There is the Meigetsu-in Temple and the Hasadera Hydrangea Path in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture's Kaisei Machi Ajisai Matsuri, and Chiba's Hondo-ji Temple, among many other places.
Irises are another flower that is at its best in the rainy season, and you can enjoy them even in the heart of Tokyo! Meiji Jingu Shrine in Harajuku is home to a beautiful iris field, Omotesando's Nezu Museum offers a stunning iris garden, and outside Tokyo there's the Daian-zenji Temple Iris Festival in Fukui Prefecture.
Of course, this is just scratching the surface - there are plenty of blooms in other colors to enjoy across Japan. Wisteria, shibazakura, azaleas, plum blossoms, and the ever-iconic sakura are just a few more to appreciate!