Seasons play a vital role in Japanese culture.
With the changing of months, a new season arrives in nature. And each season brings different foods, varieties of events and festivals and of course a diverse range of flowers.
Japanese flowers are like a mirror to each month and season that reflect the time period of the year.
The interesting thing is that different floral displays in different months or seasons are celebrated all around Japan.
Moreover, flower viewing is a popular means of spending leisure time among the Japanese, and it is not only limited to cherry blossoms.
Hence, today I am here to describe Japanese flowers by month or season so that you can enjoy and appreciate the versatile beauty of nature each month.
Now get ready to immerse yourself in the vast sea of renowned Japanese flowers.
Japanese Flowers Of The Four Seasons
As Japan has four seasons, I have decided to describe all the beautiful Japanese flowers, dividing them into four seasonal categories.
Japan Spring Flowers
Spring is called the season of flowers.
First, I will illustrate the flowers that bloom during this season in Japan. So, explore them one by one and enjoy their stunning beauty.
Ume or Plum Blossoms
In Bloom: Late February – Early March
Most people think that cherry blossoms are associated with early spring in Japan.
However, the first blossoming flower of this season is not actually cherry blossoms, but it is ume or plum blossoms!
The Plum Blossom is a welcome harbinger of the upcoming spring, and also, it is a more accurate representation of the early spring.
The flowering of a Plum tree (also known as the Japanese apricot) signals the end of the winter and the arrival of the spring.
In early spring, a number of festivals are held throughout the country dedicated to this particular flower.
One of the most charming ume matsuri (festivals) is the Odawara Plum Festival in Kanagawa Prefecture, where around 35,000 plum trees bloom against the contour of Mt Fuji.
You can also attend Plum Blossom Festivals at Kyoto Kitano Tengu Shrine, Yusu Tengu Shrine, Yutotengu Shrine, Tenjingu, and Susui Yuen.
Besides, Kairakuen in Ibaraki Prefecture, Tenjin Shrine in Tokyo, and Atami Plum Garden in Atami are also some of the noteworthy places to enjoy the spectacular plum blossom festivals.
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Sakura or Cherry Blossoms
In Bloom: Mid March – Early May
The list of Japanese flowers won’t be complete if I don’t mention the famous cherry blossom.
People all over Japan participate in the evaluation of when the Sakura will bloom every year in January and February.
Japanese people eagerly await the Japan Meteorological Agency’s forecast for its most popular floral event – cherry blossom festivals.
The blossoming of the cherry tree occurs between mid-March to early May, and Japanese people start joining the cherry blossom viewing festival (hanami).
They arrange a get-together with their family and friends sitting under the cherry tree. Lots of delicious foods and drinks are enjoyed there, along with the stunning view of cherry blossoms.
A carnival-like atmosphere always exists in Hanami picnics, which are often accompanied by pop-up food stalls or yatai.
The season starts with kaika (the first blossoms), proceeding to manka (peak blooming), and finally hanafubuki (a cherry-blossom blizzard) when the petals fall like a snowstorm on the onlookers.
Mount Yoshino in Nara prefecture is often said to be Japan’s top hanami spot, with around ten thousand cherry trees spreading down the hillside.
While you are in Tokyo, you can also visit the trendy Nakameguro district, where more than eight hundred cherry trees line the Meguro River.
Some other best places to observe the beauty of cherry blossoms are Ueno Park, Shinjuku Gyoen Park, and Yoyogi Park.
In bloom: Early-Mid May
The rose plant was very recently brought to Japan by Europeans; as a result, many rose bushes in Japan today are descended from European rose plants and bloom from summer until fall.
The 500 various species of rose plants in Hibiya Park in Tokyo (Hibiya Station) or the French Garden in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden are quite simple to find wherever you go.
Fuji or Wisteria
In Bloom: Late April – Early May
The Purple Japanese Wisteria appears in its full bloom between late April to Early May.
Wisteria is a common theme in Japanese culture and arts, and it retains noble denotations dating back to the feudal period when commoners were forbidden to wear purple.
It is a magical experience to explore these purple waterfall-like flowers all over the park. The hypnotic display of the vine attracts a large number of visitors from far and wide.
The most famous place to see wisteria is the Ashikaga Flower Park, which is 90 minutes away from Tokyo. The wisteria trees in this park are over 150 years old, and they even bloom in rare colors such as red or yellow.
However, you can also see a smaller display of these beautiful flowers at Kameido Tenjin Shrine near Kinshicho Station.
Churippu or Tulips
In Bloom: Late April – Early May
The tulip is known to be a romantic flower, and you can see some breathtaking tulip vistas in Japan.
If you want to experience the best view of the tulip in Japan, I would suggest Tonami Tulip Park in Toyama Prefecture, where you will find two million of them.
Well, this place is quite far from Tokyo, and you will need almost eight hours to get there.
In that case, if you want somewhere near Tokyo, you should get the JR TOKYO Wide Pass or the Greater Tokyo Pass and go to Sakura Furusato Hiroba in Chiba Prefecture.
Rapeseed or Nanohana
In Bloom: Mid March – Early April
The middle of March is the best time to observe the splendor of rapeseed blossoms, though it appears typically in full bloom by the end of March.
This plant is also known as canola.
It is a flowering plant in Japan with a long interesting history. It has been considered a food source for over two thousand years.
And the oil of this rapeseed was perhaps used for lighting up Edo (Tokyo) not too long ago!
In case you are a flower lover, you must want to take the Kominato Railway or Isumi Railway line from Goi to Ohara in Chiba around Tokyo, which makes its way around the countryside through gorgeous canola fields.
Another surprising place to see the beauty of a yellow carpet of rapeseed blossoms is near Shimbashi Station in Hamarikyu Gardens, Tokyo, where you will find almost ten thousand of these plants.
Shibazakura or Creeping Phlox
In Bloom: April – May
Creeping Phlox or shibazakura blooms from April to May and offers a breathtaking vista of pink!
This plant is actually native to America, but still, you can see these in Japan growing close to the ground.
You can go to Hitsujiyama Park in Saitama Prefecture to see the splendid loveliness of these flowers.
Or, for capturing a really iconic photo, you should head to Fuji Shibazakura Festival.
Around 800,000 shibazakura plants bloom here with Mt. Fuji in the background.
Nemofira or Nemophila
In Bloom: Mid April – Early May
Nemofira is a low-growing plant that blooms from mid-April to early May.
The color of this flower is associated with baby blue, which turns the whole field blue!
Showa Memorial Park is an ideal place to see these flowers in Tokyo.
However, if you don’t want to miss the stunning view, then you should consider going to Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki Prefecture, which is two hours from Ueno Station.
You will be surprised by the eye-catching beauty of over four million blooming nemophila flowers.
In bloom: April – Late May
The best time to see poppies in Japan in general is around May.
When in full bloom, over 2.4 million poppies cover the flower hill on the north side of the Showa Kinen Park like a beautiful scarlet carpet. The wide field of poppies spreads as far as the eye can see, and it is simply magnificent!
Also, the Kounosu Poppy Festival is held in Knosu City, Saitama Prefecture. The Fukiage poppy field is covered by crimson poppies. Other than this Kurihama Flower Park and Hirai Sports Park are two amazing parks to view the poppies in full bloom in Japan.
Summer Flowers in Japan
After spring, here comes the advent of summer in the realm of nature in Japan.
So, get ready to enjoy the beauty of summer flowers now.
Himawari or sunflowers
In Bloom: July – August
Reaching their peak size between July to August, Sunflowers come with the sun in Japan.
This flower represents mid-summer, and almost all the fields in the countryside become a vast yellow sea with this large yellow beauty.
These tall plants with significant yellow flowers are so famous that manifold festivals are held across the country to let people enjoy their stunning splendor.
Well, who can blame people when a field of sunflowers is breathtakingly beautiful!
However, this flower doesn’t finish its duty just after offering a great view. It can even help filter out radioactive contamination of the soil.
Anyway, I want to recommend some popular locations for sunflower viewings, such as Akeno Himawari Batake (Akeno Sunflower Field), Yamanashi Prefecture, Sakura Furusato Hiroba in Chiba Prefecture, and Kiyose Sunflower Festival in Tokyo.
Also, there is a flower farm in the north of Sapporo in Hokkaido called Himawari-no-Sato, where more than a million sunflowers grow every season.
During the farm’s famous Hokuryu sunflower festival, visitors wander around the fields by tractor and bicycle to explore the incomparable loveliness.
Ajisai or Hydrangea
In Bloom: Mid-June – Mid-July
This plant is associated with the rain in Japan. So, if you see this flower, it means it might rain.
The best time to see them is mid-June to mid-July. They usually bloom in multiple colors like blue, purple, pink, depending on the acidity of the soil.
Different varieties of this plant are native to Japan, but there is a particular one that’s leaves are brewed to make a delicious sweet tea called hydrangea serrata.
Like other flowers, hydrangea festivals are also held in their peak season in Japan.
To enjoy a lovely display of this flower, you can go to Hakusan Shrine or Asukayama Park near Tokyo. Kamakura Hasedera Temple in Kamakura is also an ideal place to witness the beauty of over 30 types of hydrangea.
So, If you travel to Japan during rainy weather, don’t be upset and go for a ‘hydrangea hunt’ to enjoy the time.
Rabenda or Lavender
In Bloom: Early July – Early August
Lavender fields are not any less impressive and gorgeous in Japan. In fact, the northern side of Japan is one of the ideal places for lavender growth.
The place where you find the most lavender fields in Japan is Hokkaido. Here you can head to Farm Tomita in Furano.
If you want places that are closer to Tokyo, you may consider Tambara Lavender Park in Gunma Prefecture and Lake Kawaguchiko in Yamanashi Prefecture.
Here you can even enjoy the romantic aroma of the lavender fields as well.
Hasu or Lotus
In Bloom: Mid-July – Mid-August
Lotus, also known as hasu in Japanese, has been a common flower in Japan for a thousand years. Now it has even become a symbol of Japan.
It is an exceptionally gorgeous and fragrant flower that appears in pink, red, or white colors.
Lotus is fairly popular among ancient people for its edible roots. Besides, they also used its large waxy leaves as dishes or food wrappers.
You can see lotus in summer at many ponds near temples and shrines.
Some notable places to see lotus are Ueno Park (Shinobazu Pond) in Tokyo, where they are particularly plentiful; Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine in Kamakura, which is quite a popular spot for the flower; while Sankei-en Garden in Yokohama has a beautiful lotus patch.
Anyway, if you want to observe these magnificent flowers in Osaka, head to Hattori Ryokuchi Park or Nagai Park.
In bloom: Mid-July – Early October
Dahlias are distinguished for their huge wreaths, which bloom from summer to early October. Because the shape and colour of the flowers and petals vary based on the variety, each flower is one-of-a-kind. Finding your favourite Dahlia in the garden is one of the simple pleasures of visiting!
The Heavenly Dahlia Festival is hosted in the Grinpa Amusement Park from roughly July 14 to October 7, right at the base of Japan’s most gorgeous mountain! You can see Mt. Fuji from here, as well as approximately 30,000 Dahlias in bloom.
If you visit the Akita International Dahlia Garden, you can see over 7000 different varieties of dahlias.
Hanashobu or Japanese Iris
In Bloom: May – July
This plant was introduced to Japan centuries ago.
Since then, this exquisite flower has bloomed every summer from May to July, creating a mindblowing vista.
To enjoy the beauty of this lovely flower, you can consider going to the Iris Festival or Katsushika Shobu Matsuri in Horikiri Shobuen (Horikirishobuen Station) in Tokyo.
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Autumn Flowers in Japan
Most people might get busy thinking about viewing the colorful leaves when it is autumn. However, the fall flowers in Japan are not any less attractive than the foliage.
Here they are-
Kosumosu or Cosmos
In Bloom: Late August – Early October
Cosmos flower starts appearing in early autumn. Just like spring starts with cherry blossoms, so does the multicolored cosmos indicate the start of autumn.
You will see these flowers in most regions of Japan as they are relatively easy to grow, and also, they come in different colors. Some may appear golden, while some are pink.
To see the best view of cosmos flowers, you should go to Yamanakako Hananomiyako Park near Mt. Fuji or Sakura Furusato Hiroba in Chiba Prefecture.
You can also consider Showa Memorial Park (Tachikawa Station) and Kurihama Flower World (Kurihama Station) in Tokyo.
Manjushage or spider lily
In Bloom: Late September – Early October
As the name indicates spider, this flower actually seems a bit like a big spider, but don’t worry as it won’t bite you.
Red Spider Lily is considered a holy flower of Buddhism, and also, they are known to be the flowers of heaven.
These unusual and pretty flowers grow along the rivers, and to name the best place to see them, Hidaka, especially during the Manjushage Matsuri (Festival), which is held annually in late September.
There is also a place called Kinchakuda Park in Saitama Prefecture (Koma Station), which is just an hour away from Tokyo.
There you can see over a million of these flowers at the spider lily festival.
15. Kiku or Chrysanthemum
In Bloom: September – Mid November
The Chrysanthemum flower is so beautiful that Japanese people love to get tattoos of this flower.
It has been the flower symbol of the Japanese Royal Family for centuries.
You will also find it on the Imperial Seal, Japanese passports, the 50-yen coin, and kimonos as well.
So, it is possibly the most revered flower in Japan.
Every year, hundreds of Chrysanthemum viewing festivals are held throughout the country during its blooming season.
Even the flower growers compete for the title of the most beautiful Chrysanthemum flowers in Japan.
You can find Chrysanthemum flowers in most shrines across the country from September to November.
The top place to observe their beauty is the Shinjuku Gyoen Park, where the two hundred years of a long tradition of Chrysanthemum flower viewing is still very much alluring.
Japanese Winter Flowers
Winter is such a time of the year when we wouldn’t even dream of seeing blooming flowers.
However, fortunately, even in the depths of winter, you will be surprised by the sight of multiple colorful flowers.
So, here I am going to present those flowers now.
Kan-Botan or Winter Peony
In Bloom: Late November – Mid February
Winter peonies usually bloom in those areas where snow is expected. Late November to mid-February is the time when they grow.
They are often protected with straw covers during the snow.
The perfect places to attend peony matsuri are Hamarikyu Gardens in Tokyo (Shimbashi Station) or Toshogu Shrine in Ueno Park (Ueno Station).
There you can catch the stunning sight of these beautiful flowers in winter!
Suisen or Japanese Daffodils
In Bloom: December – January
You might also catch a glimpse of beautiful daffodil flowers from December to January in Japan.
These flowers are usually grown in southern Japan near the ocean.
Jogashima Park, just one hour south of Tokyo, is the best place to see them. More than half a million daffodil flowers bloom there in the middle of winter.
So, this was the presentation of my Japanese seasonal flowers.
Let’s wrap up this writing here.
Well, by this time, you have learned a lot about Japanese flowers by month and season.
Now you can decide according to your travel period which flower you want to see and which not.
I hope the breathtaking view of some of these marvelous flower fields will make your Japan trip more joyful and pleasant.