For many people, spring really only means flowers, and plenty of them. Some of us can get all we need from a lazy afternoon or two under the cherry blossoms. But if that has only whetted your appetite for spring color after the long, bleak winter, then Hiroshima Prefecture’s Sera district has you covered.
For years now, Sera (the name for both an area and its principal town, near the heart of Hiroshima prefecture) has been working to corner the market on Floral Tourism, and as far as western Japan goes, they have succeeded beyond all imagining. In and around the town of Sera, there are at least six flower parks, with seemingly more coming in every year, and by mid- to late April they should all be providing an absolutely glorious riot of color for visitors.
From mid-April, Sera Kogen Farm is the scene of around 850,000 tulip blossoms, representing hundreds of varieties and a dazzling spectrum of color. Some of the tulips are planted to create large designs, and visitors are encouraged to stroll among the blossoms, taking photographs and luxuriating in the sheer profusion of flowers. Later, in August, the same area will be host to a sunflower festival, but in spring it’s all about tulips.
Kamu no Sato Rokutan Park is blanketed in over 50,000 square meters of brilliant pink and white moss phlox, a ground-cover plant that creates dense mats of small, intensely colored blooms. Paths wind among the flowers, making you feel as if you were walking through a sea of pink.
Sera Fuji-en Wisteria Park boasts well over 1,000 wisteria trees that, in spring bloom, create fragrant curtains of purple, violet, pink and white. The park’s own literature paints a portrait of crowds of women clad in beautiful kimono. You be the judge.
And for those who haven’t yet had their fill of cherry blossoms, Sera Kouzan Fureai no Sato has a road lined with weeping cherries, inviting visitors to stroll among the hanging strands of delicate white and pink blooms.
Of course, as with any tourist destination, there are other things to see, buy, taste and do. Small events are held almost daily in the various flower areas, and everyone in the family will find something to delight. So go take a look.
The flower parks are spread out a fair bit, so this day trip is best made by car. From Hiroshima city, head for Hiroshima Airport and then continue past the airport into the countryside. The Sera District begins beyond the airport, and really, at this time of year you’re likely to find flowers nearly everywhere you look.
Sera Kogen Farm
Address: 1124-11 Oazabessako, Sera-cho, Sera-gun 729-3305
Kamu no Sato Rokutan Park
Address: 3-3 Kamitsuda, Sera-cho, Sera-gun 729-6714
Sera Fuji-en Wisteria Park
Address: 478-82, Yasuda, Sera-cho, Sera-gun 722-1202
Sera Kouzan Fureai no Sato
Address: 1049 Otanikutaniyama Sera-cho, Sera-gun 729-3301