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April Showers Bring May Flowers: May 1999

Author:Author unknown, Issue: May 1999, Topic: Tourism

Well, actually, many of the most spectacular flowers come in April, but certain varieties are at their peak later this month. Two really great poppy displays are coming up near Tsukuba, with the best time being late May. The poppies bloom for quite some time, however, and are still good into early June.

The two displays are at the Kokai River Flower Festival in Shimotsuma just off of Route 125 along the river, and the Flower Canal Spring Flower Festival in Fujishiro also along the banks of the Kokai River about 1 km north of the intersection on Route 6 that leads into Fujishiro Station. Both places have several special events on weekends, but the flower fields are open any time and are best viewed in clear weather. Thousands of people come each Spring to view the many acres covered in brilliant red, pink and white poppies. The Shimotsuma event claims to have 50 million poppies on 5 hectares, with events (concerts, etc.) scheduled 5/23, 5/30, 6/5 and 6/6. The 6/5 event is a fireworks display from 7:30 to 8 pm. The Furishiro main event is a concert on 5/16, with a rain date of 5/23.

Also worth mentioning is the rose displays at the Flower Park in Yasato, just over the mountain from Tsukuba. The rose is the official flower of Ibaraki Prefecture and is the main attraction at the Flower Park (though many other varieties are in bloom at various times of the year). The Rose Festival runs from May 22 through June 27. Admission is 640 yen for adults and 320 yen for children.

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