28 February, 2012

【Spring Flower Series】 Awaji Hanasajiki and raped flowers

“Awaji Hanasajiki”(Awaji Flower Garden) is one of the best flower viewing sites in Hyogo. This garden is four times as large as the Hanshin Koshien Stadium or approximately 14.6 hectares with seasonally blooming flowers. Visitors can enjoy the panoramic view of more than 2.5 millions of charming flowers in bloom against the background of the Akashi Kaikyo Bridge and the Osaka Bay.

“Hanana” or the raped flower is one of the most beautiful in spring. It starts to bloom in early March and is in full-blown in April. When it comes to the rape flower field, many Japanese are very familiar with the image of a landscape or a field covered with yellow raped flowers. Awaji Hanasajiki grows purple raped flowers as well as yellow ones. More than one million of both colors of raped flowers are planted in total. The carpet of both flowers together shows a lovely contrast of yellow and purple and it is really beautiful to view.

Carpet of raped flowers

Besides a beautiful sea of rape flowers, “the HAAT-FURU (heartful and full of heart marks) Project” is held in Awaji Hanasajiki. This project plants colorful flowers in a heart shape and so the whole garden is filled with heart shaped marks. Strolling around the garden filled with heart-shaped flowers is enjoyable and also makes your feelings so happy and warm.

See heart marks!

Heart-shaped planted stock flowers (using approximately 20,000 stock flowers) are especially stunning and deserve a special mention. This heart has a wall of woods and can’t be seen from an observation deck in the garden. A few minutes walk is necessary to see the flower field of stocks, but it deserves your exploration. Visitors also enjoy seeing a unique earthwork which uses pasture grass which is grown in the motif of the year. The motif of 2012 is a four-leaf clover connected to four hearts shaped by the grass. The idea of this project is based on an old tradition that the four-leaf clover is a symbol of luck, and it represents a wish of luck and happiness for visitors.

While some visitors take a big panoramic view from an observation deck, others can enjoy walking and make a closer observation of each flower field or flowerbed walking along footpath. But, please DON’T step into any flower field or flowerbed!! Pretty and delicate flowers are easily squashed by foot. DON’T pick flower in the garden!! Keep to the rules and have the courtesy to just view and observe the flowers.

A sea of stock flowers

A souvenir section in the log house-style rest house sells fresh seafood, vegetables and flowers. Famous souvenirs in spring are sand eels cooked in a special sauce or raw whitebait. Enjoy a delicious specialty treat after an eye-filling scenery of flowers.

Awaji Island has other famous spots to view flowers, and a stamp-rally is held to encourage visiting those places. Stamp collection books are sold at the same souvenir section (\200 per copy).

Stamp collection books

 This stamp rally is a really good way to discover the real charm of Awaji Island. It is a really lovely island: and is also called “flower island.”

Useful links:

“Awaji Hanasajiki” homepage: http://web.pref.hyogo.jp/nosan/hana/Japanese
“Awaji Hanahenro “ (Awaji flower route) homepage: http://www.awajihanahenro.jp/index.php (Japanese
Information for a stamp-rally: http://www.awajihanahenro.jp/junreitaikai.php (Japanese

Hyogo Tourism Guide, information for nature of Awaji Island:

Monthly Hyogo : http://www.hyogo-tourism.jp/m_tourism/ (Japanese

Famous flower viewing spots on Awaji Island (“awaji navi” by Awaji Island Tourism Association): http://www.awaji-navi.jp/kanko_taizen_result.php?keyword=%89%D4%82%CC%96%BC%8F%8A (Japanese

Our next issue will pick up cherry blossoms in Oji Koen.
Please look forward to it!

YokoHyogo Tourism Association)