Good morning! It’s Golden Week, a series of Japanese holidays, and I just got back yesterday from a trip to see the blue flowers and tulips at Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki. It’s my second time to the park; the first time was in September 2013, and different kinds of flowers were blooming, which you can see here.
My brother had sent me a picture of these flower-covered hills back in December of last year, with a description saying they originated in California (where I’m from). It seems to be true. Anyway, since he’s never been there, it was fun to actually go see it and then report back :)
The blue flowers, called Nemophila (ネモフィラ), are the biggest attraction of the park when they’re in full bloom, and there were advertisements up for it in one of the stations we transferred at, as well as people with vests and signs selling bus tickets to the park from the station. The train was cheaper, though, so my friend and I did that instead.
We’d heard that the flowers were already past full bloom (or their “bluest” state), so we took pictures in the station in front of the wallpaper and put them on Facebook to see if anyone would notice. I think most people missed it…. They turned out better in some ways than the pictures from the actual park, though, because we were indoors and we weren’t squinting.
It’s like getting your picture taken at Sears! Or better haha… #thanksKatsutaStation
It being Golden Week, there were a lot of people at the park, but because it’s such a huge park, there’s lots of room for lots of people to mill around, and it doesn’t feel as cramped as a smaller park would. The park is in Ibaraki, a neighboring prefecture to Tokyo, and it’s relatively close for a day trip. We were fortunate that we had pleasant weather and that it didn’t rain.
All the pictures of the blue flowers have to be taken strategically because there are so many people. All the pictures make it look like you’re in a huge, uninterrupted field with people off in the distance, but in reality, there are walking trails that up and down the hill, and if you look for a while, you can find a spot that will sustain the illusion in your photographs. Luckily, it’s fairly easy to find a spot that makes it look like you’re by yourself in one part of the park and everyone else is on the other side, far away.
The tulips were also slowly starting to fade, but we found the places that were still going strong and got some nice pictures. I loved the tulip area, because it was tree-covered and shady, and the light was filtering through the trees. There was pollen flying everywhere, which I think was what was making me sneeze, so for people with hay fever, it’s probably their worst nightmare; but I thought it was cool and mood-setting, and reminded me of the Forest Haven in The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker.
There are different flowers blooming at the park all year round, so it’s worth it to visit at different times of year! Mata ne, Hitachi Seaside Park!
♪ Zelda Wind Waker: Dragon Roost Island (Acoustic Guitar Cover)