Spring in Japan brings a bounty of color to enjoy, from the iconic cherry blossoms to azaleas, tulips, shibazakura and more. One flower that is oft-forgotten is nanohana, or rapeseed as it's known as in English. Their vibrant yellow blooms are a sign of spring's arrival, and this list covers five great places where you can appreciate their beauty.
Gongendō Park, Saitama
Saitama's Gongendō Park is home to a wide array of seasonal blooms, including hydrangeas in early summer, spider lilies in autumn, and narcissus in winter. Many would argue that the most impressive time of year at the park is spring, particularly when you can catch the double delight of nanohana and sakura at the same time.
887-3 Uchigouma, Satte City Saitama 340-0103
Suiha Highlands, Ehime
If you're looking for picturesque scenery to pair with your nanohana experience, Ehime's Suiha Highlands certainly delivers. Visitors can soak up views of the Seto Inland Sea and the Shikoku Mountain Range while they enjoy the flowers, and there is a festival held here around the mid-April timeframe to celebrate their beauty.
306-1 Hiranoyama Otsu, Kinshacho, Shikokuchuo City, Ehime 799-0642
Isumi Railway Line, Chiba
If you're looking to savor the springtime beauty of nanohana from a different vantage point, hop aboard Chiba's Isumi Railway Line. Stretching for almost 30 kilometers, the train line has a number of spots where you can enjoy views of nanohana fields while onboard. You'll also find numerous sakura trees lining the route, adding to the special springtime experience.
From Ōhara Station to Kazusa-Nakano Station, one-way travel time is approximately 55 minutes
Takikawa has hosted an annual nanohana festival since 2000, with crowds of around 100,000 people reveling in the beauty of these flowers each year. There are two main types of nanohana cultivated here – the Kizaki no Natane variety which is primarily used to make rapeseed oil, and the Haru no Kagayaki variety which is typically used as a food source.
Ebeotsucho, Takikawa, Hokkaido 079-0461
Iiyama's aptly-named Nanohana Park comes alive during spring, and their annual nanohana festival is held during the latter half of Golden Week -- based off previous years, plan for the 3rd to the 5th of May. From the park grounds, visitors are able to enjoy views of the Sekida Mountains, which sometimes still have a dusting of snow atop them.
495-2 Mizuho, Iiyama, Nagano 389-2322