Okayama's Handayama Botanical Garden is an impressive spot to visit year-round for nature lovers. The garden is home to around 150,000 plants in over 3000 species, and of those, one of the most popular drawcards are the springtime cherry blossoms. There are around 1000 cherry trees on the grounds, and they are typically illuminated during the evenings when in full bloom.
There are a number of walking paths around the park if you'd like to stroll around and appreciate the variety of flora on display, or perhaps sitting and taking it in from a park bench is more your style. The best time to plan a visit to catch the cherry trees in bloom is from late March through to early April.
Adult admission to the park is priced at 310 yen, and there are also annual passports available for 1500 yen if you're local to the area.
The Handayama Botanical Garden can be accessed within around ten minutes on foot from Hōkaiin Station, served by the JR Tsuyama Line.
For those who opt to drive, there is on-site parking available at a cost of 300 yen for anywhere up to 3 hours, and then 100 yen for every hour thereafter.
I'm an expat who has lived abroad for almost a decade, including 7 years in Japan. I've also visited 44 of 47 prefectures and hope to get to the last three someday! I'm particularly fond of exploring off the beaten path destinations, gardens, and tea houses, and have a real interest in Japan's gr...