Kochi is a place where flowers, rivers and mountains can be appreciated in harmony with each other. Whichever season you visit, there is something natural to enjoy. Come to Kochi and experience the four seasons through its beautiful flowers.
In spring, cherry blossoms bloom all over Japan, and Kochi is no exception; one popular spot for viewing being in the grounds of Kochi Castle. In addition, Mt. Soda, Nishigawa Flower Park, and Nyuta are places where you can enjoy spectacular cherry blossoms and canola flowers at the same time.
At Mt. Soda in Susaki City, you can enjoy the impressive combination of a rare cherry blossom called Yukiwari Sakura, or Snow Spirit Cherry Blossoms (the name coming from the fact that snow may still be on the ground when they start blooming), in tandem with cheerful, bright yellow canola flowers. You may wish to enjoy night-viewing by candlelight to catch the cherry blossoms’ full beauty, but this chance comes only once a year! If you propose in a place like this, he or she will not be able to say "no!”, so it is a great spot for couples.
At the stunning Nishigawa Flower Park in Konan City, you will be greeted by yellow canola flowers, dark pink peach blossoms, and light pink cherry blossoms against a backdrop of green mountains and clear, blue sky. A stroll among them makes you feel as if you are walking in a field of flowers. You can see why many people call this place a fantasy world, as snow-capped peaks may be seen in the distance. Here, you can also enjoy a picnic of local food on event days.
In Nyuta in Shimanto City there is a place that has been selected as the second best "Spring waterside spot” in Japan. Here, 10 million canola flowers dye the ground bright yellow for 2km under the willow trees, next to the famously clear waters of the Shimanto River, creating a beautiful Spring world. Here too, you can enjoy cherry blossoms, although there are not so many. People of all ages can enjoy walking and taking pictures to their heart’s content.
In June, hydrangeas appear all over Kochi, lifting the gloom of the rainy season. Many different colors and varieties can be seen, most famously at the Ajisai Road in Haruno Town in the west of Kochi City, at the Noichi Ajisai Kaido in Konan City and for those able to travel further, the Yasunami Suisha no Sato in Shimanto City which incorporates hydrangeas, water wheels and paddy fields – a unique sight to behold! The blue, purple, white, and pink flowers create walls of color, and attract many kinds of butterflies and dragonflies. This pretty, natural scene is best enjoyed by taking a leisurely stroll alongside or between them, perhaps with your partner for a more romantic mood?
There is a place in Kochi where sunflowers, which are usually only seen in summer, are in full bloom twice a year. In Izuma (Tosa City), there are early blooms (late June to early July) and late blooms (late October to early November), each with different characteristics. The early bloomer is a powerful and tall sunflower that seems to dwarf an adult completely, and the late bloomer is a height that seems to be similar to a small child, so kids might have fun competing!
In autumn, many seasonal flowers appear. One of the most popular are Cosmos which spring up everywhere, swaying gently by riverbanks and rice paddies. They are most commonly pink, purple, and white in color, though vivid orange is another variation. A great event in Kochi to see these flowers is in Ochi Town, which is about a one-hour drive from Kochi City. Soon after the beautiful red cluster amaryllis bloom along the river from mid to late September, the cosmos appear - l.5 million of them no less. At the annual Cosmos Festival, you can also enjoy seasonal local food such as dishes made with tsugani (Mitten Crab) and grilled amego – a local river fish.
In winter, why not take a trip to Shikoku’s southernmost point, Cape Ashizuri and enjoy the beautiful Japanese camellias(yabutsubaki) against the backdrop of Kochi’s most spectacular coastline? There are about 150,000 of these flowers on the peninsular and no less than 60,000 on the tip of the cape alone. The striking dark pink petals and deep green leaves create a feeling of calm, in stark contrast to the surrounding rugged cliffs and crashing waves below. The camellia trees form a tunnel close to the famous lighthouse, and the fallen camellia flowers color the path with a beautiful red carpet.