Ibaraki Explore: Hitachi Seaside Park
Japan travel isn’t all modern skyscrapers and crowds, there’s also vibrant and untouched natural beauty, the best of which is found in the country’s national parks. Just two-hour driving away from Tokyo, Hitachi Seaside Park is a must-visit destination that offers you rolling hills in distance and miles upon miles of incredibly beautiful flowers blooming year-round. To help you enjoy the most, here’s our comprehensive guide to tackle this famous flower park of Japan.
- 1 Full experience about Hitachi seaside park
- 1.1 Hitachi seaside park overview
- 1.2 Things to do in Hitachi seaside park
- 1.3 Best time to visit
- 1.4 Access
- 2 Conclusion
Full experience about Hitachi seaside park
Hitachi seaside park overview
Located in Ibaraki Prefecture, the northeast of Kanto region, Hitachi Seaside Park Japan (国営ひたち海浜公園, Kokuei Hitachi Kaihinkōen) is touted as the most popular public park in Japan. The park covers a long coastal line and an area of 350 hectares which is divided into several distinct areas: Miharashi area, West Entrance area, Forest area, Grassland area, and so on.
Hitachi seaside park is obviously an inspiring landmark for nature lovers. It features vividly green space and a wide range of seasonal flowers. The park’s most iconic flower is baby blue eyes (Nemophila), with the blooming of 4.5 million of the translucent-petaled blue flowers during spring. In fall, the hill will be covered by summer cypress (Kochia) which slowly turn red as the weather turns cooler. Along with that, paths crisscrossing the hill provide breathtaking views over the Pacific Ocean.
Although seasonal flowers are highlights, visitors to the parks can enjoy a variety of intriguing outdoor activities. There is a small amusement park with a ferris wheel, walking trails through the extensive Hitachinaka Nature Forest, while the Dune Garden showcases plants native to the coastline of Japan. The park is quite a nice place to visit as a day trip from Tokyo, and it’s not surprising to see a big crowd over the weekends.
605-4 Onuma-aza, Mawatari, Hitachinaka, Ibaraki 312-0012, Japan
1st March – 20th July, 1st September – 31st October:
9:30 a.m – 5 p.m
21st July 21 – 31st August 31:
9:30 a.m – 6 p.m
1st November 1 – end of February:
9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m
Closed Mondays (if Monday is a national holiday, then closed Tuesday), 31st December and 1st January
Children (>6): 210 yen
Adults (>14): 410 yen
Seniors (>64): 80 yen
Children under 6: free
Things to do in Hitachi seaside park
Most people come to Hitachi seaside park for its baby blue eyes which typically look the best from late April to the middle of May. It’s an image that’s hard to beat – an expansive field of hypnotic blue nemophila flowers, almost resembling an ocean bar the various windy paths looping over the park. Also, there are millions of kochias, daffodils, nearly 200 varieties of tulips, and assorted other flowers blooming throughout most of the year.
Aside from the Miharashi Hill, the park itself also offers plenty of walking trails that you can take around the place. They are charming at the same time to take you to see stunning vistas including a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. You can also rent bikes to take a ride on the many cycling paths throughout the park.
Hitachi Seaside Park is also home to more than 25 rides and attractions, including a 100 meter tall Ferris wheel, putter golf, a BMX course and a roller coaster among others. Most of the rides and activities require extra fees. Restaurants and rest areas are scattered throughout the park with plenty of dining options, and a BBQ area for those wanting to bring their own food to a picnic is available as well.
On top of all these reasons to go to Hitachi Seaside Park, there is also the Rock in Japan Festival held at the park in August. The park also hosts many other seasonal events, including the Pokka Poka Winter Fair and the Tobikkiri Summer Fair. It’s like an all-in-one destination for some exciting experiences as well as winding down time.
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Best time to visit
Late March to Mid April
At this time of the year, you will have chance to take brilliant pictures with Narcissus flowers. These gorgeous yellow blooms are not originally cultivated in Japan but imported to this country in the early 1990s. They have slowly become acclimated to the Japanese weather conditions, and now popular with more than a million blooms every spring at the Hitachi Seaside Park.
Mid April to Late April
The tulip season at Hitachi Seaside Park is pretty short in comparison to other types of flowers, but when it happens, it’s quite a sight to behold. Unlike most flower gardens, rather than blooming in just one colour, the tulips are planted to bloom like a rainbow across the entire park. Thousands splash of colors, from red, orange to yellow, purple combine together to create the most incredible backdrop.
Early April to End of May
This is what you definitely can’t miss. 4.5 million blue nemophila flowers bloom at the 3.5-hectare Miharashi Hills and transform the field to the never-ending blue ocean. You’ll feel like you’re diving into the ocean of flowers! During this period, expect to see hundreds of people in the crowd who pretty much want the same thing as you – an epic photo opportunity of the stunning blooms.
Mid of July to Late September
Arguably the second most popular period to visit the Hitachi Seaside Park would be during summer for the Kochia (summer cypress). 32,000 Kochia balls are planted at the miharashi Hill in June, and grow their size from 15 cm to 70–80 cm during summer. They start off as bright green in July, and gradually change colour to become a deep vibrant red by the end of October, before slowly becoming a burnt colour, just in time for autumn. At the peak season, there will be an event “Kochia Carnival” held annually in which the entire park lights up after dark with colourful LED lights.
In addition to kochia balls, cosmos flowers are in full bloom from early to late October, and fields are next to each other! Don’t miss capturing some photos with those cute and colourful plants!
From Mito Station
Take the JR Joban Line to Katsuta Station which will take you typically 5 minutes, 190 yen/one way, multiple trains/hour. Then catch the bus to the park (15 mins traveling, 400 yen/ one way, every 20-30 minutes). In peak season, it’s highly recommended to book a return ticket for the bus in advance.
From Tokyo Station
First, you take the JR Joban Line or the Hitachi-Tokiwa Line to Katsuta Station. The trip is about 80 minutes and costs just under 4,000 yen. Once you get to Katsuta, you can change trains to Ajigaura Station which will take roughly 30-minutes 570 yen, or just take the bus.
Alternatively, you can reach to the park by direct highway buses during spring and autumn. The one-way ride takes about 2.5 hours, costs 2240 yen and is not covered by the Japan Rail Pass.
Hitachi seaside park is the perfect place for those looking for an attraction that will provide an abundance of photo opportunities. Make sure you schedule your trip to coincide with one of the flower festivals because they are worth it.
Nice trip and have fun!