At last, the heatwave seems to be over. In the past few days, temperatures have dropped, hovering around the low 30s. The sun is still strong, but it’s much less humid and I feel like we can now actually go outside and enjoy summer! The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for a certain, much-anticipated flower festival in Kiyose city, just north-west of central Tokyo.
Located along the border of Saitama prefecture, Kiyose is considered one of Tokyo’s rural districts despite being only 25 minutes from Ikebukuro. Houses are noticeably spread out and the spaces in between are used for vegetable farms. As you walk down the busy main road and side streets, you pass by rows of radishes, carrots, long onions, potatoes, cabbages and corn. It’s hard to believe you’re still in Tokyo. While regular vegetables may not be all that exciting, thousands of people flock to one agricultural field in particular every August: a magnificent field of sunflowers!
Paradise for bees
Like golden rays of happiness, sunflowers have the power to lift people’s spirits. They are said to symbolize adoration and loyalty, and make for a great gift to someone you care about. If even just one sunflower can bring joy to someone, imagine seeing a field of hundreds of thousands of bright, yellow faces beaming up at you! From a distance, a field of sunflowers is breathtaking, but I think the flower heads are super intriguing. If you look closely, the centre of each sunflower is actually made up of lots of individual flowers—apparently there can be anything up to 2,000 florets on a sunflower head!
Yukatas, sunflowers and a dragonfly
Yours truly in a summer daze
Spot the sun umbrella
The Kiyose Sunflower Festival this year runs from August 18 to 28. The sunflowers were planted at the beginning of July and last week reached almost 2 metres tall! At the festival, visitors can wander through a vast field of 100,000 sunflowers. There are paths, but you’re basically allowed to go wherever you like—this means, there many amazing photo ops to be had! There is also a small section of food and drink stands, local produce stands and sunflower-related crafts. I couldn’t resist buying my own mini potted sunflower which now brightens up my whole room, and I’m reminded of this beautiful field every time I look at it.
Have you ever been to a sunflower farm? What’s the tallest sunflower you’ve seen?!