Konosu City is located in the middle of Saitama prefecture along the old Nakasendo Route. About 516 km, the Nakasendo Route was constructed during the early 17th century and was one of the four major trade routes in Japan. The Nakasendo started from Kyoto, back then the capital of Japan, and ran through Gifu, Nagano, Gunma, and Saitama to Nihon-bashi in Edo, now Tokyo. Konosu was one of 67 post stations on the Nakasendo Route. For 350 years, Konosu, also known as 'Doll Town' had been famous for making dolls for Girls’ Day on the 3rd of March, and it is now known as the city that flourishes with flowers, bringing it with it the new name of 'Flower Town'.
Today, Konosu City has a population of 120,000 and is the proud bearer of six "Number One" titles in Japan. They have the longest water pipe with a length of 1,101 meters; the widest river which stretches 2,537 from the left bank to the right bank (Arakawa River); the highest pyramid at 7 meters high with 31 tiers to display Hina dolls on Girls' Day; more than 5 fireworks with 30 cm diameter fireballs which are shot up in succession within a minute; the largest shipment of flowers such as Primroses, Salvia and Marigold; and the most hectares of poppy fields, with 12.5 hectares blooming during spring.
This is the 9th year in which the Flower Festival has been held in the City of Konosu. 12.5 hectares of poppy fields are spread over the dry riverbed of the Arakawa River. Growing flower plants is one of the main industries of this area. The yellow California Poppies were introduced to Japan in the middle of the 19th century.
To get to the festival, take the Takasaki line to Konosu station. There is a free shuttle bus from there to the festival.
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I was born in Nagoya but soon moved to China, then Manchuria, and to Peking (now Beijing) and entered Japanese elementary school there. My family came back to Japan in 1946, and lived in a small village in Hiroshima, Hyogo, Saitama and finally settled in Tokyo in 1950. I spent a year in Minnesota, USA, as a high school exchange student during 1955-56, and finished college in Tokyo. I mainly worked for JICA as a Japanese language instructor and editorial staff of JICA's periodicals in English. I like to cook, grow flowers, knit, travel and Facebook, just for fun and enjoy them. These days I'm interested in Southeast Asian countries. 旅行が好きなので、日本紹介というよりは、旅先で興味を抱いたこと、特に外国人の方にも関心を示していただけそうな事柄を紹介していきたいと思っております。