"Manabe Garden" (Tomokamai) - "Ikoro Forest" (Obihiro)

"Manabe Garden" (Obihiro) - A dynamically colored garden for the summer.
"Ikoro Forest" (Tomakamai) - Beautiful flowers in full bloom.
These gardens have been built to take full advantage of their landscapes. With the short, hot Hokkaido summer in full swing, these gardens are at their peaks! Every place you look, the greenery and flowers are growing and are in full bloom. We will introduce both gardens here.
Firstly "Manabe Garden". Located only about 15 minutes drive from Obihiro JR Station, it is Japan's largest Conifer Garden. Although located so near the center of town once inside the city seems a world away.
The garden was first started by Mr Manabe, a forestry worker, in 1896. The garden actually began life as just a display area for various species of trees for sale. It was not initially open to the public. However over time the garden evolved into its current form accessible to the general public.
Currently the garden is in its fourth generation and now covers around 24,000 square meters. The garden is comprised of western and Japanese style gardens. There are three walking trails, each of about 800 meters to 1.5 kilometers, which lazily wind their way through the garden.
Walking through the garden the first thing you will notice is the large numbers of vivid and also slightly strange colors of the various plants. There a shades of red, gold, light blue and even silvery grey. These plants, some with strange shaped leaves and twisted branches leaves the observer with a feeling of wanting to know more about these plants.
Ikoro Forest is about 15km south of New Chitose Airport set amongst the forest. Two gardeners trained in the United Kingdom started the garden using a British style garden as a base and expanding from there.   
The garden is broadly divided into two areas that come together to form one large space. The two gardens are titled "Woodland Garden" and "Natural Garden". There are border gardens, rose gardens, smaller areas and areas which have elaborate rock and brick work. Walking through the different areas is relaxing and informative as various hints and tips for home gardening are given.
The flowers in the garden are around until about September, with the largest number of flowers blooming during the first weeks of August. The rose garden has many different varieties and many are resistant to cold weather so it is possible to see them up to the fall.
Both of the above gardens have cafeterias for light refreshments. Please come along and spend as much time as you like wandering through them.
Manabe Garden
Address :
Inada cho, East 2-6 Obihiro
TEL : 0155-48-2120
Open :
May to August - 8am to 6pm (last entry) (7pm gates shut)
Last reception from 8:00 to 18:00 May to August / 6 Sales (closed down 19:00)
Cost :
800 yen / adults, 200 yen / elementary and junior high school students
Ikoro Forest
Address :
Uenae 565-1, Tomakomai
TEL : 0144-52-1562
Open :
9am to 5pm - During the summer.
600 yen / adults, 300 yen elementary school or younger.
(Hokkaido Likers Photo-Writer - FUKKO)