Fuji x Flowers

Is there such a thing as too much love for Mt Fuji? Never, I say! Just look at her, standing out there all on her own, covered in pure white snow. She’s bold, beautiful and the pride of the country. And she’s notoriously shy, so catching a glimpse of her peeking out from behind the clouds is always a ‘wow’ moment.

On a very clear spring day, I travelled from Tokyo to the base of the mountain to a park called Hana no Miyako Koen. It was a mission and a half to get there – involving 3 trains, 1 bus and a whole lot of confusion – but once there, Fuji-san didn’t disappoint. The last time I was in this area it was so cloudy that we couldn’t see even one inch of the mountain. This time, though, every bump and crevice was visible. The zigzag trails stood out, and my mind immediately flashbacked to the summer of ’14 when some friends and I trekked up to the summit and back on those very trails.

The park was full of tulips in every colour under the rainbow. The pops of orange and purple and red were gorgeous. But with the tulips coming to the end of their season, it was the little nemophila that stole the show. You might remember my visit to the Hitachi Seaside Park where an entire hill is blanketed with blue nemophila. I didn’t realise there was a purple spotted variety, too. I loved how the spots created tiny love heart shapes on the petals. So sweet!

Hana no Miyako Koen is one of many parks around Mt Fuji. I think it’s awesome that there are people who have gone to so much effort to grow the flowers and create these ‘moments’ for the rest of us. How lucky are we!

Tulips in Tachikawa

Last weekend, I tried to make the most of the tail end of the cherry blossoms in Tokyo. I checked out Showa Memorial Park, a massive 163 hectare park out in Tachikawa, western Tokyo. The last time I was here was for the stunning Autumn festival. The park has about 1500 sakura trees, so I was excited to catch a glimpse of the later blooming varieties. But, as I walked through the park gates, I literally walked into a flower festival – tulips were everywhere! My nature-loving mind exploded with joy! The bizarre varieties of tulips, the vibrant colours, the fragrance in the air, the pond, the stream, the green lawns – it was all so perfect. I walked around in a daze, wishing that one day this could be my own backyard (of my imaginary house)!! My favourite tulip was one called the ‘honeymoon’. For a flower with so many spikes to be called that, it makes you wonder about the person who named it! Perhaps their marriage didn’t work out as they’d hoped?! No, but actually I think they are referred to as ‘frills’, not spikes, which makes more sense.

The 'honeymoon' tulip
The ‘honeymoon’ tulip