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Spring in Verny Park, Yokosuka

Flora's awakening by the ocean

Spring time is the mark of a new beginning. A fresh start, and with flora blooming in an exquisite variety of different hues! Verny Park has more to offer aside from just the waterside boardwalk. It provides an up close viewing of the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) ships along with the U.S. Navy warships. It has roses that radiate with different colors, and my personal favorite during spring time is the cherry blossoms.

I love walking through the park when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. The location is not as crowded as other places, and yet you still get to see people enjoying flower viewing or as locals call it, O-hanami. Some structures such as the gazebo and a water fountain that resemble something that came straight from France itself, add a very interesting contrast and atmosphere to go along with the blossoms. Just beware of the sea hawks if you are planning to have a picnic out in the open!

The park, with assistance from local volunteers transforms into a magnificent European rose garden and celebrates Rose Fest twice a year. Spring Rose Fiesta is held in May and the Fall Rose Festa is in October. Once the roses are in full display, you will be immersed with thousands of flowers, with about 120 varieties! Sizes ranging from a 500 yen coin all the way to almost as big as both your hands together! When they are in full bloom, the roses perfume the air and add an eye pleasing effect. It is also a perfect opportunity to test out your camera’s capability at macro setting, or just lay lazily on the grass and enjoy the nice breezy day.

Verny Park was created in memory of Francois Leonce Verny (1837 – 1908) who was a Frenchman that arrived in Japan to oversee the construction of the Yokosuka Arsenal (ship building and repair facility) thus jumpstarting industrial modernization in Japan. In the middle of the park lies a bust of Francois Leonce Verny and Oguri Kozukenosuke Tadamasa. Both men laid the foundations for the modernization of Japan.

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