By popular demand, we present to you our recommended spots for flowers and foliage in Kyushu! For those looking to fill your trip with beautiful seasonal sceneries, this is it!
Shirakimine Plateau is located halfway up the hillside of Mt. Gokahara. Equipped with an observation deck, the plateau provides a great panoramic view of the Isahaya Plains, Isahaya Bay, Fugen-dake of Mount Unzen, and so forth. Thanks to the gentle and undulating geography, many frequent here for hiking and trail walking all year long.
Some 10,000 flowers of yellow rapeseed fill the surface of the park during blooming season. Recommended viewing season is between late March to late April, and if lucky you just might catch the sight of both yellow rapeseeds and cherry blossoms in full bloom.
Saitobaru Tumulus Clusters is located in the central Miyazaki Prefecture in the middle basin of the Hitotsuse River. More than 300 in total, these ancient tomb mounds are said to have been placed sometime between mid 3rd century to the 7th century and are one of the largest groups of its kind in the world. "
Stretching 4km north to south and 2km east to west, the cluster region is filled with yellow rapeseed flowers. They are in bloom between late March to early April, and along with some 2,000 cherry trees nearby, the area is known to be one of the go-to locations for viewing seasonal flowers.
The largest lake in Kyushu is Lake Ikeda located in the southeastern part of the Satsuma Peninsula in Kagoshima Prefecture. 3.5km in diameter, this caldera lake is massive - the deepest part measuring 233m and the shoreline length measuring 15km.
There presents a stunning view of the lake with yellow rapeseed flowers all around with Kaimondake volcano of 100 Famous Japanese Mountains in the back drop. The blooming season for this region is between early December to late February, presumably the earliest in the entire country.
Ibusuki Nanohana Marathon held here from January to February also features a part of the course with some 8 million rapeseed flowers planted along the road.
The Midorikawa River is a Japanese grade-one river running through the central Kumamoto all the way into the Ariake Sea.
Come spring time, the downstream riverbanks get filled with tens and thousands of yellow rapeseed flowers blooming beautifully. Equipped with walk ways and paths, it makes an ideal spot for viewing the seasonal flower. Especially the embankments along the Tomiaimachi Shakado bridge and National Road 3 and Midorikawa Bridge intersection will be covered in yellow during blossoming season.
Recommended viewing season is between early March to mid April.
Yamadahiyoshi Shrine in Tamana City enshrines the Shinto deity of mountain, Ooyama Kuinokami. The shrine also known as Sanougongen holds its main shrine at Mount Hiei in Kyoto.
The large wisteria tree on the premises of the shrine is over 200 years old. It has been told that this particular tree was planted here after Akamatsu Kuemon, the second son of Kumamoto-native scholar Akamatsu Sukejiro, received the seed from a temple in current Nankan, Tamana District. Kumamoto Natural Monument designated tree is 12m wide and 10m long; the flower can get up to 1m as it opens up in full bloom. The best viewing season is between mid April to early May. The trees get lit up at night during the season period.
Teizenji Temple called Fuji-dera by the locals is a staple landmark in the region - to the point where even the road signs indicate as Fuji-dera. One Japanese wisteria tree here at the temple is relatively well-known. The 500 year-old tree boasts 3.7m in diameter, and its flowers are supported by a 800 square-meter trellis. Since it is placed relatively close to the temple bell tower, it gives a special meaning of its own - it welcomes all customers. It has been designated as a Natural Monument of Kumamoto Prefecture and continues to draw a large crowd along with white wisteria and yae fuji wisteria trees on the premises every year. Recommended viewing season is around the Golden Week holidays.
The giant wisteria of Nakayama is located within the premises of Kumano Shrine in Mitsuhashimachi Nakayama. The 300 year-old tree is said to have been brought in from Osaka during the Edo period, and its flowers extend all the way to the stone bridge at the entrance of the shrine. The light purple arch created by its flowers is just breathtaking. They are in full bloom between late April to early May. The tree itself has been registered as a Natural Monument of Fukuoka Prefecture. Neighboring former residence of the Tachibana clan is now kept as Tachibana Ikoinomori Park.
Within Onakatomi Shrine is a 10m Japanese-Chinese tower gate registered as a Natural Monument of Ogori City.
Nicknamed the ""shogun fuji,"" the shrine's 600 year-old wisteria tree is 2m in diameter and can grow flowers up to 1.5m in length. Legend has it that the tree was planted here when the Imperial Princess Kaneyoshi praised the deity of Onakatomi Shrine for miraculously healing the wound he had suffered during one battle. Recommended viewing season is between mid April to early May. Shogun Fuji Matsuri will be held also during this season.
Tobiume is a divine plum tree enshrined at Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine. Legend has it that this plum tree was so fond of master Sugawara no Michizane, the renowned Heian period poet and scholar, that it flew from modern-day Kyoto to then-new capitol Dazaifu in one day to be close to him. The name ""flying plum"" derives from this romantic tale mentioned in Michizane's poem. The said tree is an white plum type called ""irotamagaki"" and always blooms before any other 6,000 plum trees on the premises. There are both white plum and red plum types here, and the best viewing season is between late January to early March.
Fukoji is the 15th Kyushu Saigoku Reijo Tendai temple enshrining the image of thousand-armed Guanyin as its main principle. The princess of Emperor Saga is said to have built this temple back in 823 A.D.
Garyubai plum tree on the premises is 400 years old and 22m in height. It is an impressive tree - the trunk hugs the ground like a dragon planting its arm on the ground. Along with Garyubai, there are over 200 red, white, and drooping types of plum trees here. Recommended viewing season is between late February to early March.
The origin of Miyanojin Shrine goes back to 1359 when Prince Kaneyoshi of Kamakura shogunate set up his main base at this location for the Battle of Chikugo River. The current sanctuary was built in 1888 to enshrine the nephew of Prince Kaneyoshi, Yoshinari.
On the premises is what is called the "shogun plum" tree said to have been planted by Prince Kaneyoshi along with a wooden sculpture of Amitabha. It is believed to be over 600 years old and is the largest plum tree in the Kurume City region. The shogun plum blossoms between early to mid March, while others do so around late February.
Ancient Bairinji Temple is said to have been founded in 1621. Its main deity is Nyoirin Guanyin, and the tough training the monks would go through here at the temple also known as Bairin-Zenji is something quite well-known among the community.
The premises is not open to the general public; however, the neighboring Bairinji Gaien is a great spot for flower viewing. Some 500 plums in 30 different types bloom in turn during the blossom season - red, Japanese apricot first followed by white, Japanese plum and yae plum flowers. Recommended viewing season is between mid to late February.
Huis Ten Bosch is a theme park in Sasebo replicating the Netherlands' royal palace and the city streets. It features many fun attractions including a pearly Ferris wheel and a 105m observation tower called Domtoren.
Just as in the Netherlands, the park is filled with the tulip flowers. There are over 5,500 types grown here on the premises as they continue to add even more new types to the list. You would not want to miss especially the type called Tulip Huis Ten Bosch created by a Dutch plant breeder through more than 23 years of work.
Nogata City is actively involved in city development centered around the flower of tulip. Take, for instance, the Onga River where over 130,000 tulip flowers bloom in season on the riverbed and embankment. There is a variety of colors including red, yellow, pink, blue, etc. The Tulip Fair is held in early April, drawing over 20,000 visitors annually. Best viewing season is between late March to early April.
Over 50,000 tulip flowers in 100 different types beautifully blossom on the paddy fields surrounding the Roadside Station Harajiri Falls. The Tulip Festa is held here during the blooming season, drawing many visitors also wishing to get a peek at the Harajiri Falls, one of Japan's Top 100 Waterfalls. Recommended for viewing around early April.
Kenmotsudai Arboretum and Botanical Garden operated by Kyushu Regional Forest Office aims educate the public and to raise awareness for the nature and forestry.
Grown on the premises are over 2,100 flowers of 800 different types including tulip, Japanese wisteria, rose, and more. All throughout the year many visit the garden for the beautiful nature. Tulip flowers are in full bloom between early to late April.
Nagakushiyama Park is located halfway up the 234m Mt. Nagakushi. Overlooking Kujuku Islands, this beautiful park with an observation deck provides a spectacular view of the surrounding region.
Blooming here throughout the park during season are some 10,000 flowers of azalea in different breeds including 30 types of rhododendron obtusum and 15 types of rhododendron pulchrum. With lots of sun hitting the slope, the flowers blossom beautifully and cover up the surface of the park in rainbow colors of red, pink, pearl, purple, orange, and etc. Best viewing season is between early April to early May.
Takatoge Tsutsujigaoka (Hills of Azalea) Park is situated in the highlands of the central Osumi Peninsula 722m above sea level. The observation deck of the park provides a picturesque panoramic view of the surrounding region: Kirishima Mountain to the north, Mt. Takakuma to the south, Shibushi Bay to the east, and Kagoshima Bay and the mountains of the Satsuma Peninsula to the west.
Growing here at the park are over 10,000 azalea flowers in 100 different types including rhododendron obtusum. The entire surface of the park will be beautifully cloaked in pink during the blossoming season. Recommended viewing season is between mid April to mid May, while Takatoge Spring Tsutsuji Festival will be held here during the this season.
Tenjinyama Tsutsuji (Azalea) Park is a staple flower viewing spot in Hinokage. The 2 hectare park is home to about 18,000 azalea flowers in different types including rhododendron obtusum and rhododendron pulchrum. Presumably, the origin was when the local residents donated 5,000 of them to the park. The entire side of the mountain will be in deep red from the flowers blooming during the season. It will be lit under the light as well. Prime viewing season is between mid April to early May.
Kagamiyama is a local Mecca for extreme sports like hang gliding and paragliding. The location is a great spot for a panoramic view of the Nippo Coastline.
Approximately 10,000 flowers of colorful azalea come to full bloom near the top of the 645m mountain during the season. With the mountains of Sobo-Katamuki Quasi-National Park in the back drop, it is an ideal location for enjoying the wide-range view of the mountains and the ocean. Best viewing period is between late April to mid May period.