Well, let’s say there are two types of sakura. Sakura on trees and sakura on the ground. We are very well aware of the sakura on trees.
And we have the “sakura” on the ground.
Meet the shibazakura 芝桜, or moss phlox in English. These tiny little flowers cover the ground like grass for a short period of time.
My picture isn’t great, the timing wasn’t that great either, but the further portion of the garden is what it will look like once they all bloomed together.
One of the famous places to view the shibazakura is right in front of Mt. Fuji.
For a more detailed account of how to get there, click here for the English website. I bet the view is magnificent and breath-taking (with Mt. Fuji and all), but I can imagine that the place can get very crowded during the peak season.
However, there is a somewhat hidden place that can be enjoyed without having to worry about bumping into other flower-viewers. It’s called Hitsujiyama Park 羊山公園 in Chichibu, Saitama prefecture, which is about 2 hours away from Ikebukuro in Tokyo.
As of writing, the place looks like this:
This is what I love about the gardens in Japan. There are timely updates, in photo and/or video forms, for their viewers.
This place requires a lot of walking — around 40 or so minutes back and forth from the nearest train station. Best take your comfortable walking shoes with you to avoid aching blistering feet. However, there’s a bus for those who need it. The great thing about walking is that one can enjoy the view one the way to the park and back while losing all the extra calories gained from enjoying Japanese cuisine. Back in 2016, the sakura trees were still in full bloom in a nearby park. Hanami was still in full swing as well.
Take the Red Arrow Limited Express from Ikebukuro station and stop at Seibu Ikebukuro or Yokose station. Check out their website by clicking: Red Arrow Limited Express.
- Upper box: Limited express fares / Lower box: Basic fares（IC card/Ticket）
- All prices are in yen.
It can get very sunny so be sure to bring some UV protection and cash for the delicious food from the food stalls located around the garden.