As Japan transitions from the sticky humidity of summer into the coolness of autumn, there’s one famous flower festival in September left to check off your list of things to do while visiting. Seeing them in Japan tells you autumn is almost here, but did you know that it is also called the hell flower? It’s partially due to how they are often planted by Buddhist practitioners on their ancestral grave sites as part of tradition. They are believed to be blooming in hell to help guide the dead to their next life. Spooky much? That said, Halloween is not far away so we think these flowers really held build up the atmosphere and they are a sight to behold with their vibrant red delicate petals.
Top of the list is Kinchakuda Manjushage in Saitama with its impressive display of 5 million spider lilies blooming at its peak. It truly creates the illusion of a bright red carpet and it’s interesting to observe the casual photoshoots that take place there. Visiting in person will make you understand . The name of the park is interesting – Kinchaku means drawstring bag and since it accurately captures the shape of the river surrounding the park.
One of the oldest gardens in Tokyo dating back to the Edo period, it is beautiful through the seasons. It is one that encourages viewers to take their time strolling through its multiple routes admiring the landscape and finding their favorite view. You’ll see this blooming in small clusters throughout your stroll when visiting between mid-September to mid-October.
This is a park that used to be a golf course! Come here to see spider lilies, as well as indulge in other family-friendly leisure opportunities with a nature observation center, barbecue pit, and tennis courts all within the park. It has over 8000 trees, which makes it another amazing spot for sakura or maple leaves viewing, giving you a reason to return.
Showa Memorial Park
Located on the west side of Tokyo, this spacious park is best explored by bicycle, although walking on well-paved trails make for a slower-paced time admiring the flowers and people-watching. Among the many attractions within the space, highlights include a water park (open between July to September) and a bonsai museum. It's a highly recommended spot for picnics and large gatherings!
Take me there!
Of all the places listed, this one is the closest to central Tokyo. Featuring an impressive backdrop of Tokyo's modern architecture, this landscape garden also has a teahouse sitting out on its tranquil pond. Interesting to note is how pond levels remain in an ever-changing state as it is directly connected to the nearby sea so you can expect the scenery to slightly different depending on the time of day. The spider lilies are scattered through the park in clusters.
Which of these parks have caught your interest the most? The great thing about Japan is how there's almost always a little park around every corner you turn, and seasonal blooms can be seen even on a casual leisurely walk through town, so get around to spotting those spider lilies when September rolls around!
Cover Photo: Ikidane Nippon