Seeing the sea of baby blue nemophila in Hitachi Seaside Park is one of my many to-see/do things on my never-ending bucket list, and I was tremendously blessed to be able to see the ocean of blue under a brilliant blue sky.
Hitachi Seaside Park (ひたち海浜公園, Hitachi Kaihin Kōen), located in Ibaraki prefecture, is an expansive park most famed for its blue nemophila in late spring, when the Mitarashi Hill is completely carpeted in a sea of blue that merges in harmony with the blue sky. The peak blooming season for this gorgeous blue flowers is usually from late April to mid May.
Most Japanese make use of their Golden Week which falls around nemophila’s peak season to visit the park, which makes it insanely crowded during then, but we chose to head to the park a week after the Golden Week, and the crowds were considerably more manageable, though the nemophila were slightly past their peak.
Despite the flowers being past their peak blooming period, my breath caught when I first saw the magical carpet of blue before me. I have seen them in pictures, many times, which made me long to see them in real life, but even the best photos couldn’t trigger the sheer essence of emotions that overwhelmed me upon seeing them up close. At times, the flowers seem even bluer than the sky, and I realised that the colour blue is rarely seen in flowers, which was perhaps why its rarity made it even more captivating.
If you look closely, the flowers are actually tiny and appear almost fragile, with varying shades of blue and white. But with 4, 500, 000 nemophila flowers clustered tightly together, they create a vision so stunning that I could stay there all day just admiring them.
The little pop of orange from the early blooming poppies also create a visually arresting break from the endless blue, and I was totally absorbed in looking for these poppies amongst the blue sea.
During nemophila season, you can find many nemophila-themed food and drinks all around the park, and while we were skeptical about the mysterious blue flavor, we decided to give nemophila soft serve a shot. I generally do not have very fond memories of artificial blue food and drinks, they often taste like antibiotics to me, but this nemophila soft serve turned out to be better than the milk soft serve! It tasted just like yogurt ice cream, and I’m pretty partial to yogurt, as long as they aren’t plain yogurt, which is absolutely bland.
It isn’t cheap to enter this park, but for its colossal size of 192 hectares, the ¥410 paid is definitely worthwhile. Besides the breathtakingly beautiful nemophila, there are also many other attractions within the park, and as you can see, a colourful ferris wheel serves as an extremely photogenic backdrop for our ice cream cones. From the Ferris wheel, you should be able to gather that one of the attractions is an amusement park! That’s right, an amusement park, though if you are looking for thrill rides, you should probably look elsewhere. The rides are family-friendly, so it would be perfect for a family trip. There is also an enchanting garden right next to the amusement park, with vibrantly coloured yellows and pinks adorning the garden in spring.
During spring, you can also find around a rainbow of tulips flowering in Tamago no Mori Flower Garden. 250, 000 tulips of 250 varieties bloom in the forested garden from mid to late April in perfectly arranged spirals around the trees, evoking a fairytale-like ambience. But by the time we were there, it was way past the peak season, so most of the tulips were wilting. Still, I managed to capture some lovely shots, albeit not of the entire garden, which was in a less than fairytale-like state by then.