May 13, 13 | Takako Chiba
"Katakuri Flowers in Otokoyama Natural Park" - Early May flowers in a wonderful garden.
This flower, although it resembles a lilac of sorts, is actually a "Katakuri" flower. It is one of the main attractions for flowers viewers visiting Asahikawa.
Otokoyama Natural Park in Asahikawa sits at an altitude of 220 meters. From this height you can see the distant Taisetsuzan and Tokachi mountain ranges, as well as catch a peek of the Ishikari River below from a scenic overlook. It is here you can find a natural flower garden filled with the "Katakuri" flowers.
Due to the recent cold weather, on April 30th it was only 8℃ in Sapporo, spring is still a bit of a ways away for Asahikawa. Usually the Katakuri flower by the 20th of April, but as of the 30th they still had yet to bloom. According to staff at Otokoyama Natural Park, "Once we have a series of warm days the flowers will open up. But we can't really predict when that will happen! (Laughs)"
While flowers aren't able to let us know the day or month they will choose to bloom, the park has its deadlines. Unfortunately this year the flower garden was only open for viewing until May 12th. However, this event is held yearly, so be sure to mark your calenders and bookmark the parks webpage, for a chance to catch the blooms next year. The flower is a pretty pink and light purple, truly a spring blossom, and one that is best to view in warm weather.
It's still chilly outside, but spring has begun to show its face. For those of you with an interest in taking pictures, please post some photos of flowers blooming near where you live! Although you'll have to wait until next year to visit the Otokoyama Natural Park Flower Garden, there are still many other places to view beautiful flowers!
■男山自然公園 (Otokoyama Natural Park)
※For park information, please visit the website or contact them directly.
(Hokkaido Likers Writer - Takako Chiba)
All photographs provided by Otokoyama Natural Park.