The Hillside of Takinoue: Painted pink with Shibazakura flower fields
At last, flower season has come to Hokkaido. Today’s feature is shibazakura (pink moss-like cherry blossom flowers) of the sprawling town of Takinoue. The vibrantly colored hillside of Takinoue Park is the highlight of the spring.
Today, Takinoue Park is famous for its beautiful shibazakura but its history dates back to the early 1900s. The park’s iconic flower-covered hill was created when a number of youth group volunteers planted 1000 plants.
From then, the hill, full of light pink cherry blossoms, gradually became famous for its beautiful flowers. So famous, in fact, that there had been extra Hanami (Hanami refers to flower-viewing picnics popular in Japanese culture) trains during the peak season.
Thereafter, sadly, war, bugs, and typhoons destroyed the flowers. However, after discovering that these flowers are more resilient and can be seen longer than normal cherry blossoms, the park was brought back to life with the seedlings of a single orange planter.
Along the walkway, you can stop at the view post to admire all of the flowers, including some tulips; but for flower aficionados, this might be a little strange. On Honshu, flowers bloom by type according to the season but in Hokkaido, they seem to all bloom at the same time. This flower collaboration makes for a really enjoyable view.
Usually Shibazakura have only five petals, but if you’re somehow able to find one with six or more petals, it’s good luck! For those hoping for a little luck, you might have fun searching for some of these “lucky” flowers!
On Friday, May 10, the 2013 Fairytale Takinoue Shibazakura Festival will start and on Saturday, May 18, the Takinoue Tourism Association will host a national Shibazakura Forum in “Fairytale Takinoue” to commemorate the festival’s 50th anniversary. At the forum, Sayuki Ueno, designer of the garden featured in the popular drama “Kaze no Garden” and Asahikawa’s Ueno Garden, will deliver a keynote speech.
Spring comes late to Hokkaido, but we always look forward to it. You don’t want to miss these flowers and the sweet smell that they bring to Takinoue.
[ Takinoue Tourism Association ]
Official Website / http://takinoue.com” target=”blank”> http://takinoue.com
Facebook / http://www.facebook.com/takinouekanko
[ 2013 Fairytale Takinoue Shibazakura Festival ]
When / May 10 (Fri) – June 9 (Sun)
Where / Takinoue Park
Entrance Fee (during festival) / 500 Yen for Adults, 250 Yen for elementary school students, free for children under elementary school age
Inquiry / TEL 0158 – 29 – 2730 ( Tourist Association ), TEL 0158 – 29 – 4444 ( Park Ticket Office )
[ National Shibazakura Forum in Dowamura Takinoue ]
When / May 18 (Sat)
Where / Takinoue Cultural Center 滝上町文化センター（滝上町栄町）
※ Photographs provided by Takinoue Tourism Association
( Hokkaido Likers Photo Writer – Fukko )