When we were living in Dubai, the only chance we had to see real tulips was inside a lobby of a five star hotel. Dubai is awesome like that, if you can’t get to the real flowers, they bring it in. These flowers are imported from far flung countries and handled with so much care so we desert dwellers could enjoy looking at it like they were freshly picked.
So our kids – they have seen tulips that were picked and put in a vase but not the tulips growing from the ground! One of the best things about moving to a country with four seasons is to be able to enjoy lots of nature, including these seasonal flowers.
Flowers and plants in their natural habitat, blooming at their own pace.
And what makes it more exciting is that there is a national park near us that’s twice the size of Tokyo’s Yoyogi Garden – the Echigo Hillside Park.
WHERE IS ECHIGO HILLSIDE PARK?
Echigo Hillside Park is located in Nagaoka City in Niigata Prefecture. With an enormous size of 120 hectares, this national government park is more than twice the size of many Tokyo dwellers’ favorite Yoyogi Park (54 hectares).
The park has a very huge space that people come early, especially in the warmer season to bring their tents and spend the whole day here. There are restaurants inside the park for park goers who do not like to bring their own food.
There are craft activities for kids and adults to enjoy, too. We went for the kite making activity because both our kids have not flown a kite ever. (They might never have seen or touched or made a kite – what am I doing with my parenting, right??)
As soon as we walked out and they found a spot to fly their kites, we couldn’t get them to stop (because it’s too hot). No, mother dear, we did not hear you!
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?
The park is worth visiting all year long with different flowers in bloom every time. You can catch the tulips in April, roses in May, cosmos in Sept/Oct, etc. Be sure to check their flower calendar.
Our move to Japan has been a huge transition in our lives but the flowers we see blooming all around us definitely makes this journey easier. Christian Dior famously said, “After women, flowers are the most lovely thing God has given the world.”
How right that is.
Echigo Hillside Park
1921 Miyamoto Higashikata-machi, Nagaoka City
Entrance fee:450 yen for adults, 210 yen for 65 years old and above, free for children under 15 years of age.
Website (Japanese only): https://echigo-park.jp/