The Fuji Shibazakura Fetival is a celebration and appreciation of the beauty of the phlox moss. It is one of the highlights of the Fuji Five Lakes during spring.
Moss phlox is a small flowering plant that thrives easily on relatively cold climates. Growing up to a height of 6 inches, this plant is usually used as a ground cover for many gardens and landscapes. The plant has been called different names : pink moss, creeping phlox, mountain phlox. In Japan, they are commonly known as shibazakura.
Shibazakura grows green almost the entire year. During spring, its flowers bloom in great volume that almost the entire plant gets covered. Its blossom varies from pink, white, purple and different shades in between depending on the plant variety.
Shibazakura is one of the main attractions during spring in Japan. And though they can be found in many local gardens, the two most popular places to marvel at their beauties are the Hitsujiyama Park in Saitama Pefecture and the Fuji Motosuko Resort in Yamanashi Prefecture. Both parks offer a stunning sea of pink moss but because of its proximity to Mount Fuji, the latter is more popular among tourists.
The Fuji Shibazakura Fetival is a celebration and appreciation of the beauty of the phlox moss. It is one of the highlights of the Fuji Five Lakes during spring. Held three kilometers south of Lake Motosu, the venue is a 2.4-hectare park with over 800,000 shibazakuras.
Any first-time visitor would easily be overwhelmed by the sheer number of phlox moss around the venue. The place is almost beautifully unreal.The ground has been divided such that a specific flower color grow in a certain area, creating a giant artwork of shibazakuras when viewed from above.
There are six different varieties of shibazakura in the park : McDaniel’s Cushion, Mont-Blanc, Autumn Rose, Tama-no-Nagare, Little Dot and Oakington Blue-Eyes. Aside from the colors, each has a very unique pattern and petal shape.
Stalls and shops selling shibazakura-themed products are just around the area. Food festival is also held at the same venue so it is also a good chance for visitors to try some popular local flavors.
If Mt. Fuji and shibazakura are still not enough, a replica of the famous mountain covered in pink moss is also on display in the park.
At its peak, the Shibazakura Festival receives an influx of visitors and traffic jams may build up around the venue. So make sure to have the necessary adjustments when planning to give it a visit.
Although the shibazakuras are the main attractions of the festival, there are also other spring flowers being showcased.
The Shibazakura Festival is a haven for any photography enthusiast. The best time to visit is on a clear day when Mt. Fuji is visible on the background. Bringing of extra storage for photos would also not hurt because there are just too plenty of views and subjects to capture.
Hot to get to Shibazakura Festival (Fuji Five Lakes Area)
If you’re coming from Tokyo, the most popular entry point to the Fuji Five Lakes area is the Kawaguchiko Station.
- By train : From Shinjuku, Take the Chuo-Line Limited Express to Otsuki Station. Then transfer to Fujikyuko Line going to Kawaguchi Station (Total Fare : ~4,000 yen, Travel time : ~2.5 hours). A cheaper alternative is to not take the limited express to Otsuki via either the Keio Line or Chuo Line (Total fare : ~2500, Travel time : ~3 hours)
- By Bus : There is also a Fujikyu bus coming from Shinjuku which could be a little more convenient (Total Fare : ~2650 , Travel time : ~2hours). Check their timetable and fare matrix here.
An alternative, especially for those coming from Yokohama is via Gotemba Station.
- By train : (1) Take the Sotetsu Line to Ebina stration then transfer to Odakyu Line going to Shin-Matsuda. Again change to JR Gotemba Line then alight at Gotemba Station. Or (2) take JR Tokaido line to Kozu then transfer to JR Gotemba Station. (Total Fare : ~1,500 yen, Travel time : ~1.5 hours)
From here, take the Fujikyu bus going to Kawaguchiko (1510 yen).
The Shibazakura Festival venue is located south of Lake Motosu. During this time, there are special buses that go directly to the festival from Kawaguchiko station.
- Hours : 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Admission Fee : 600 yen
- Alternatively, there is also a 2000 yen package that includes the round trip bus to/from Kawaguchiko station and the entrance fee.
- Pets are not allowed in the park.
- The Shibazakura is held around April and May. You can check their website for announcements and schedules.
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