If you happen to crave for nature during your travels or just wanting to take a break from Tokyo’s concrete, visiting flower parks and gardens sure is a great way to relax and unwind. Tokyo may be notorious for being a dense urban jungle, but if you know where to look, it does have corners here and there where you can enjoy seasonal displays of what nature has to offer. On the other hand, a day trip outside the city will treat you to wide-open spaces and bursts of floral color.

As the saying goes: Stop and smell the flowers. In which case, here are 10 great places in and around the city for the best flower viewing experience:

1. Tachikawa Showa Kinen Park

Spring blossoms at Tachikawa Showa Kinen Park.

Spring blossoms at Tachikawa Showa Kinen Park. From Flickr

This national park in one of Tokyo’s suburbs is a great place for a family weekend excursion. It has bike paths, playgrounds, a variety of ponds, a lake, and of course, flower fields where several varieties of flowers bloom from season to season. Some floral highlights include tulips and poppies in spring and cosmos flowers from September to November. The park is also popular for its plum blossoms, cherry blossoms, and gingko trees, which is responsible for this place’s gorgeous autumn foliage.

With its picturesque views and massive grounds, it is the choice venue for many weekend events. There are Fireworks Festivals in July and Christmas Illuminations in December, to name a few.

Address:
3173 Midori-cho Tachikawa City Tokyo

Price:
Adult (15 years & above)       410 yen
Child (6 to 14)                          80 yen
Senior (65 & above)                210 yen
*Free admission for children under 6

Website: http://www.showakinen-koen.jp/html/english/

2. Kameido Tenjin Shrine

Wisteria Festival at Kameido Tenjin Shrine.

Wisteria Festival at Kameido Tenjin Shrine. From Instagram

Not really a park per se, but this shrine in the old downtown area of Koto is widely recognized as one of the best places in Tokyo to view wisteria flowers. These flowering vines adorn the shrine grounds in late April, a welcome addition to the shrine’s already scenic landscape of elegant vermillion bridges over a koi pond. Along with the calm atmosphere, you also get to have a piece of old Japan here.

Address:
3-6-1 Kameido, Koto-ku, Tokyo

Price:
Free admission

Website: http://kameidotenjin.or.jp (Japanese Only)

3. Kyu-Furukawa Gardens

Flower maze at Kyu-Furukawa Gardens.

Flower maze at Kyu-Furukawa Gardens. From Instagram

An English mansion and a rose terraced garden are the main attractions of Kyu-Furukawa Gardens. It also has a Japanese-style garden, while the villa houses the Otani Art Museum. The estate used to be the residence of a Meiji-era politician Mutsu Munemitsu, and was first opened to the public in 1956.

Address:
1-27-39 Nishigahara, Kita-ku, Tokyo 114-0024

Price:
Adult (12 years & above)       150 yen
Senior (65 & above)                70 yen
*Free admission for children under 12 and junior high school students living or attending school in Tokyo

Website: http://teien.tokyo-park.or.jp/en/kyu-furukawa/

4. Ueno Onshi Koen Park

Sakura at Ueno Park.

Sakura at Ueno Park. From Flickr

There are many sakura viewing spots in Tokyo but local crowds seem to favor Ueno Onshi Koen Park the most. This public park has over a thousand sakura trees lining up its central paths and is said to typically bloom a few days in advance. During cherry blossom season, it is custom for the Japanese to gather and hold picnics while enjoying the transient beauty of these flowers. A word of advice: If you want to experience Hanami (flower viewing party) like a local, prepare to battle it out for a good space. It can get really crowded here!

Address:
5-20 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo

Price: Free admission

5. Ueno Toshogu Peony Garden

Peonies at Ueno Toshogu Peony Garden.

Peonies at Ueno Toshogu Peony Garden. From Instagram

Still within the vicinity of Ueno Park, Toshogu Shrine’s Peony Garden offers a nice quiet stroll along maze-like paths adorned by these carefully tended flowers. In Japanese culture, peonies are considered to be the “King of Flowers” and is associated with nobility, respect, and good fortune. The garden opens from New Year’s Day through mid-February in the middle of winter, and mid-April through mid-May during spring.

Address:
Tokyo, Taito-ku, Uenokoen, 2-43

Price:
Adult (13 years & above)       500 yen + 1100 yen (additional fee to access the shrine & garden)
Child (6 to 12)                          200 yen
*Free admission for children under 6

Website: http://www.uenotoshogu.com/en/

6. Hibiya Park

Tulips at Hibiya Park.

Tulips at Hibiya Park. From Instagram

Flower power in the middle of the city.

Lying adjacent to the Imperial Palace Grounds, this space used to be a military drilling ground during the Meiji Period until it was converted into Japan’s first westernized park in 1903. These days, Hibiya Park provides a breath of fresh air and stunning blooms in the very busy and highly competitive business district of Tokyo Marunouchi. There is a lot of nature to be had over its 16 hectares of land, with two large Western-style flower gardens. One is mainly tulips, and the other one is for roses.

Address:
Hibiya Koen 1-6, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Price: Free admission

7. Hitachi Seaside Park

Fields of Nemophila at Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki Prefecture.

Fields of Nemophila at Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki Prefecture. From Flickr

If you fancy rolling hills of little blue Nemophila flowers with a nice view of the Pacific Ocean under a clear blue sky, then the one and half hour train travel to Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki Prefecture is all worth it. These Nemophila flowers otherwise known as baby blue eyes bloom over a short period from late April to mid-May.

While the Nemophila is this park’s main attraction, it also has impressive displays of other flower varieties like yellow Nanohana (rapeseed blossoms), tulips, daffodils, cherry blossoms, and cosmos flowers scattered around its 350-hectare grounds. To get around, you may opt to rent bicycles, and if this physical exertion is still not enough, you can also enjoy its small amusement park with over 25 rides and attractions.

Address:
605-4 Onuma-aza, Mawatari, Hitachinaka, Ibaraki 312-0012, Japan

Price:
Adult (15 years & above)       410 yen
Child (7 to 14)                          80 yen
Senior (65 & above)                210 yen
*Free admission for children under 6

Website: http://en.hitachikaihin.jp

8. Tambara Lavender Park

Tambara Lavender Park in Gunma Prefecture.

Tambara Lavender Park in Gunma Prefecture. From Instagram

The Tambara Highlands in Gunma Prefecture is a popular skiing and snowboarding spot but come summer, from mid-July to mid-August, its slopes are home to one of the region’s largest lavender fields. Aside from lavender, there are other beautiful summer blooms like sunflowers and hydrangea. From the entrance, it is recommended that you ride a chairlift to the main slopes so that you can view this magnificent flower carpet from above.

Address:
Tanbara Kogen, Numata City, Gunma Prefecture

Price:
Adult (13 years & above)       1000 yen
*Free admission for children under 13

Website: http://www.tambara.co.jp/lavenderpark/pdf/language1.pdf

9. Fuji Shibazakura Festival

Fuji Shibazakura Festival in Yamanashi Prefecture.

Fuji Shibazakura Festival in Yamanashi Prefecture. From Instagram

Perhaps the only thing that can top the majestic view of Mt. Fuji is a pink carpet of Shibazakura or phlox moss with Mt. Fuji on the background. Mother Nature is essentially showing off during the Fuji Shibazakura Festival, which usually falls from mid-April until early June and typically peaks during the first three weeks of May. The festival site is about three kilometers from Lake Motosuko in the Fuji Five Lakes area. From Ikebukuro Station in Tokyo, travel time takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Alternatively, you can join package tours to the Fuji Five Lakes area.

Address:
212 Motusu, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru Yamanashi 401-0337

Price:
Adult (13 years & above)       600 yen
Child (3 to 12)                          250 yen
Child (below 3)                        210 yen

Website: http://www.shibazakura.jp/eng/

10. Ashikaga Flower Park

Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi Prefecture.

Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi Prefecture. From Instagram

Wisteria viewing in Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi Prefecture is a rather surreal experience. Imagine hundreds of thousands of flower vines of blue, white, pink, and purple colors hanging and swaying in the air. Most magical are the ones dangling from a 100-year-old tree and those decorating an 80-meter tunnel. It is so enchanting here that the park made it to CNN Travel’s Dream Destinations List.

Wisterias in Ashikaga Flower Park are usually in full bloom in the beginning of May. Off season, there are other flowers in the park to enjoy and in winter, the park grounds are filled with attractive LED lights for their massive Winter Illumination display.

Address:
607 Hasama-cho, Ashikaga city, Tochigi Prefecture 329-4216

Price:
Admission fees vary depending on the season and the condition of flowers. See website for more details.

Website: http://www.ashikaga.co.jp/english/

Thumbnail image is from Flickr.