There’s that one famous image of Hitachi Seaside Park that you would have come across whilst looking into Japan – an expansive field of stunning blue nemophila flowers, almost resembling an ocean bar the various windy paths looping over the park. There are rolling hills in the distance, and the image almost seems surreal given its ethereal quality. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s made up because in fact, this park is the famous Hitachi Seaside Park of Ibaraki, and it’s one of the most popular flower parks in all of Japan.
The image that we’re referring to above is the coveted image of Miharashi Hill within Hitachi Seaside Park during late April until early May, when approximately 4.5 million nemophila flowers transforms the entire park into a sea of blue petals. However, this isn’t the only time the park puts on a show. In fact, during various times of the year, whether it be April or May or October or even smack bang in the middle of winter, the park’s beauty is not to be underestimated.
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If you’re looking for an attraction that will provide an abundance of photo opportunities and you want to work your camera, make sure you schedule your trip to coincide with one of the flower festivals, because they are worth it.
Why You Should Visit Hitachi Seaside Park!
For those looking for an easy and convenient day trip from Tokyo, a short trip to Ibaraki prefecture might just be what the doctor ordered. Yes, its most famous and popular attraction is the Miharashi Hill within Hitachi Seaside Park, but aside from that, the park itself also offers plenty of walking trails that you can take around the place, and even a small amusement park! It’s like an all-in-one destination for some exciting experiences as well as winding down time. The amusement park is home to more than 25 different rides and attractions of which include a 100m tall ferris wheel, putt-putt golf, a BMX course, and a rollercoaster. There are BBQs scattered around the park for those wanting to bring their own food to a picnic, and there are also plenty of dining options there as well.
For those who want to avoid as much walking as possible, there is also a bicycle rental option, starting at 400 yen for 3-hours. They have actually built separate cycling paths to pedestrian paths so you can ride to your heart’s content without having to worry about manoeuvring your way through crowds!
And if you’re well and truly there just for R&R and want as minimal exercise as possible, there is the option of taking the Seaside Train which rides around on tires to ten different stop around the park, allowing you to hop on and off at various parts of the park whenever you want. If you want to ride the train the whole way, it takes just over 30-minutes to cover its entire route.
All in all, Hitachi Seaside Park is the day trip you didn’t know you needed. During the right time of the year, the millions of flowers blooming as far as the eye can see will feel as therapeutic as getting a massage for your soul, and when you’re ready, you can ride out to the amusement park for some thrilling rides before tottering over to the restaurants for a nice, relaxing meal whilst taking in the view.
Best Time to Visit Hitachi Seaside Park
As with most parks in Japan, they’re always properly maintained and looked after so visiting them during most times of the year will be an enjoyable experience. However, if you’re looking for that extra oomph and want to go when it’s most popular, then try and schedule your visits during the following:
Late March to Mid April – Narcissus
These gorgeous yellow blooms are in actual fact not native to Japan. Rather, they were imported in the early 1990s and have slowly become acclimated to the Japanese weather conditions, and now grow more than a million blooms every spring at the Hitachi Seaside Park. Its bright yellow hue will cheer up anyone!
Venue: Narcissus Garden, Narcissus Hill
Mid April to Late April – Tulips
This is a case where you blink and you might miss it! The tulip blooms at Hitachi Seaside Park only happen for a relatively short period of time, but when it does, it’s quite a sight to behold. Unlike most flower festivals, rather than blooming in just one colour, the tulips are planted to bloom like a rainbow across the entire park. Everywhere you look you will see splashes of bright red and yellow and orange and purple. It’s slightly underrated as it happens during the time there the famous Japanese cherry blossoms are blooming across the entire country but nonetheless, it’s something to keep in mind.
Venue: Tamago no Mori Flower Garden
Early April to End of May – Nemophila
This is the most popular time to visit Hitachi Seaside Park because of the blooming nemophilas that fill up the entirety of the park (if you haven’t already noticed from our multiple mentions above…). During this period, expect to see hundreds of people in the crowd who pretty much want the same thing as you – an epic photo opportunity of the stunning blooms. The peak of this flower viewing period would be from late-April until mid-May.
Venue: Mirahashi Hill
If you’re keen for a complete flower-viewing experience, why not combine a trip to see the famous nemophila blooms with another attraction, the Wisteria Terrace at Ashikaga Flower Park? The team at GoVoyagin are offering a fantastic 1-day tour option where you will be taken to both venues to experience the stunning blooms before grabbing a delicious bite of all-you-can-eat Yakinuku!
Mid of July to Late September – Kochia
Arguably the second most popular period to visit the Hitachi Seaside Park would be during summer for the Kochia (summer cypress). These are not so much flowers, but rather blooming red bushes that are native to the Eurasian continent. Depending on when you go, you will see them in different colours. They start off as bright green in the peak of summer, and gradually change colour to become a deep vibrant red by the end of October, before slowly becoming a burnt colour, just in time for autumn. During mid-August, there is an event called the Kochia Light-Up where the entire park lights up after dark with colourful LED lights. The event is complete with music and story-telling for the whole family.
Venue: Mirahashi Hill
Mid May to Early June, Early to Mid November – Rose
The Hitachi Seaside Park’s rose garden receives little love compared to the other blooming flowers, but it’s still a gorgeous time to visit the park. The rose garden is relatively smaller than the rest of the venues at the park, but when it blooms, it’s stunning. If you’re visiting during this period, you won’t need to worry about crowds as much as during other periods.
Venue: Hitachi Rose Garden
How To Get to Hitachi Seaside Park from Tokyo
From Tokyo Station, take the Joban Line or the Hitachi-Tokiwa Line towards Katsuta Station. This will take around 80-minutes and cost just under 4,000 yen. From there, change trains to Ajigaura Station. This trip will take roughly 30-minutes and cost 570 yen. Otherwise, you can also catch a bus from Katsuta Station to Hitachi Seaside Park. this will cost 1,200 yen for a return trip back to Katsuta Station. This option is a better option as if you book this return ticket, it also includes a 1-Day free entrance pass into the Hitachi Seaside Park.
Details of Hitachi Seaside Park
- Address: Japan, 〒312-0012 Ibaraki, Hitachinaka, Mawatari
- Hours: Open: 9:30am, Closed: 5:00pm (March to July 20, September to October 31), 6:00pm (July 21 – August 31), 4:30pm (November to February) – CLOSED MONDAYS, December 31st and January 1st, from the first Tuesday until Friday in February.
- Cost: 450 yen
For an experience that is quintessentially Japanese that doesn’t include the usual likes of castles, onsens, mountains, and food (i.e. most of the the best things), then a fun trip towards the coast is always a good idea! With the top-notch quality of the pics you’ll rock up with back home after a dose of Japanese blooms, you’ll be the envy of everyone in your social circle.
Before to leave, if you want to see more beautiful places like this one, feel free to check out our selection of the best Japanese gardens in Japan.