I was so ready for Hitachi Seaside Park. But it looked like Hitachi Seaside Park was not ready for me.
I’m not really a flower kinda guy. Heck, the only flowers I could correctly identify are roses, tulips, and sunflowers. And sampaguita. (I can totally identify sampaguita!) But it was the middle of spring. Flowers in spring. Cliche, I know. Forgive me, but as someone who was enjoying the season for the very first time in my life, I won’t go back to tropical reality without a taste of floral bliss. From Tokyo, I traveled 90 minutes northeast to Hitachi Seaside Park. (Ninety minutes, I know, but I swear I’m not a flower kinda guy! LOL.)
The 190-hectare Hitachi Seaside Park is carpeted with flowering plants, taking turns in painting colors to the otherwise boringly virid landscape: nemophila, rose, and zinnia in summer; cosmos and kochia in autumn; narcissuses, tulips, and azaleas in spring. It was spring alright, but the past winter was having separation anxiety. It seemed like the blossoms were afraid of the leftover cold and waiting for the sunshines of May. That and my timing was just a little off. Most of these flowers bloom in late-April. I was there a couple of weeks too early.
Fortunately, while tulips were a no-show, daffodils and other narcissuses were there to brighten up my gloomy, rainy day. The opening of this part of the park, the Suisen Garden, marks the beginning of spring. Over one million narcissuses of about 600 species fill the gaps between pinewoods that filter the rays of the sun.
Had I visited in mid-April, just when the final days of the narcissuses near, the tulips would have been up. There are over 270,000 stocks of 170 varieties of tulips in Tamago no Mori Flower Garden, just south of the Suisen Garden. Before the month ends, the nemophila (baby blue eyes) takes over, 4.5 million of them flooding the 3.5-hectare Miharashi Hills with an ocean of light blue petals, complimenting the Pacific blues next to it. When autumn comes, late September to mid-October, Miharashi Hills transforms into fiery balls of crimson kochia (rusty molly) flowers.
Aside from the gardens, the site also harbors several restaurants, a disk golf area, and a BMX course. But the most dominant structure is the Flower Ring, a giant Ferris Wheel that has become an icon for the park. The height reaches 100 meters, offering an unforgettable view of the vibrant landscape.
How to get to Hitachi Seaside Park: From Tokyo/Ueno, travel by train to Katsuta Station (2270 JPY, 70-80 minutes). Take the Ibarakikotsu Bus to Hitachi Seaside Park (15-20 minutes).
Address: 605-4 Onuma-aza, Mawatari,
Hitachinaka-city, Ibaraki-prf, 312-0012, Japan
Contact Number: 029 265 9001
Admission Fee: 500 JPY
Every day within the following periods:
March 26-May 31, July 21-August 31, October 1-31
The rest of the year, the park is closed on Tuesdays.