May 09, 13 | Takako Chiba
"Takikawa Nanohana Festival" - Come see the northern earth dyed a brilliant yellow.
This year the 13th annual "Takikawa Nanohana Festival" will be held in Takikawa!
Located about halfway between Sapporo and Asahikawa, Takikawa is a wonderful town to visit on any trip across Hokkaido.
Takikawa began cultivating Nanohana (or Rapeseed) around 1991. A local public organization was experimenting to find a plant that they could grow in the area, and it led them to try out the unique flower.
The climate and soil in the area suited the Nanohana well, and it was soon growing vigorously. The town not only cultivates the crop, but also harvests the seeds produced each year.
▲The contrast of yellow and blue, as well as the wide fields are quite an impressive sight.
However, Takikawa doesn't only cultivate Nanohana. They are also well known for their agricultural products, such as rice or onions. The flowers are farmed in a "crop rotation" style. Meaning that every three or four years the fields are rotated to preserve the soil quality. So, every year during the "Nanohana Festival," the fields used for the events are changed.
This year, 27 different farmers are participating the the festival. The main area for the event will be the "Hill of Colorful Joy" in Ebeotsu, Takikawa.
If you plan on visiting during the "Nanohana Festival" you can check out the details of the tours and maps of the area online! Be sure to visit the blog and facebook page for more information.
This hill location has an elevation stretching from 50 to 130 meters above sea level which means that the flowers located here bloom at various times throughout the season, sometimes weeks apart! Rather than being a bad thing, this varied blooming time gives the festival a unique appeal each and every day.
▲Even though the Nanohana are in bloom, there is still snow in the mountains. True Hokkaido weather!
The Takikawa Tourism Association has a few pointers for those interested in viewing the Nanohana fields.
"Nanohana are at their brightest yellow for about one week during their blooming season. After this period of bright yellow, the color begins to darken, eventually turning into an orange color. So, thanks to the staggered blooming periods, there will be fields of various colors for you to view when you visit."
Nanohana is actually quite a fragile plant. Last year there was a heavy rain storm which lasted only two or three hours. Soon after the storm ended visitors were shocked to find the flower petals had all been stripped from their stems. This truly shows how much the plants depend on their climate. Each field of flowers is unique, so remember that when you view them, you're truly getting a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
During the "Nanohana Festival," in front of the Educational Museum of Takikawa (Marukakougen Denshukan), visitors will be able to view locally made canola oil, Nanohana Onion Sauce, and other Takikawa products.
There is also a photo-contest being held! Anyone interested can participate, so be sure to check that out as well.
The event will be held from May 25th through June 2nd, however dates may be changed due to the weather. Be sure to check out the Takikawa blog or websites for more information before you plan your trip!
■たきかわ菜の花まつり (Takikawa No no Hana Festival)
●From May 25th through June 2nd, 2013
(Takikawa Ebeotsu Hills)
※For a map of the site, please refer to the blog.
■Takikawa No no Hana Festival Blog
■Takikawa No no Hana Festival on facebook
Takikawa No no Hana Festival Executive Committee
(Inside the Takikawa Tourist Center, 9-2 3-Chome, Sakae-cho, Takikawa)
(Hokkaido Likers Writer - Takako Chiba)
Photographs provided by たきかわ観光協会.