Photo by George Lloyd

Catch the magnificent Nemophila blooms at Hitachi Seaside Park in Ibaraki

The nemophila at Hitachi Seaside Park are currently in their full glory and, this year, they are expected to remain so until Sunday, April 25th. Although native to the western United States, the little flowers, commonly known as baby blue eyes are very popular in Japan too. There are around 5.3 million nemophila plants at Hitachi Seaside Park, and the sheer number of flowers creates an almost never-ending sea of blue.

The best time to see the nemophila is from late-April to mid-May but this year, they are expected to last until Sunday May 2nd.

Photo by George Lloyd

Hitachi Seaside Park is one of the most beautiful public gardens in Japan. It is famous throughout Japan for the size of its fields and the mindboggling number of flowers in them.

The park is located near the city of Hitachinaka in Ibaraki prefecture. It looks out over the Pacific Ocean, and at this time of year, the combination of vast expanses of blue flowers, flowing seamlessly into the crystalline blue of the Pacific Ocean and the endless blue of the spring sky is quite breathtaking.

Photo by George Lloyd

Other flowers are in bloom, too. The garland chrysanthemum is currently in full glory, and the park's torch azalea is also in bloom. The show is expected to go on long into May, for the cornflower has just begun to bloom and the rugosa rose will bloom any day.

In addition to its flowers, the park has other attractions for visitors. The Pleasure Garden features over 25 rides and attractions, includes a Ferris Wheel that takes passengers 100m into the air, from where they can enjoy outstanding views over the park.

Photo by George Lloyd

If you're feeling suitably enticed but worry that you won't be able to get to the park in time to see the nemophila when they are in bloom, don't despair. The park has a variety of seasonal flowers, which bloom throughout the year.

Its narcissus and tulips bloom in spring, its nemophila and roses in early summer, the zinnias in summer, and its kochia (summer cypress) and cosmos flowers in autumn. With the ice tulips coming into bloom in the winter, the park offers visitors a cornucopia of flora whatever the time of year.

Photo by George Lloyd

Admission to Hitachi Seaside Park costs ¥450 for adults. Note that the period between April 10th and May 9th is the busiest time of year and the paths within Miharashinoka (Nemophila Hill) are all one way. When we visited on a weekday, the park was far from crowded, but use your own judgment depending on the situation.

Bide your time until the golden hour, when the sun begins to set, and you will be rewarded with especially wonderful vistas. They're best enjoyed in the company of a delicious nemophila-flavored ice cream!

Photo by George Lloyd

The address of Hitachi Seaside Park is 552-18 Ajigaura, Hitachinaka, Ibaraki 311-1201. There are regular buses to the park from Katsuta and Tokai stations. Both stations are on the JR Joban line, which runs from Shinagawa, Tokyo and Ueno stations. The journey from Shinagawa to Katsuta takes about an hour and 15 minutes by Limited Express train.

You can also get to Katsuta and Tokai by expressway bus from Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit - the journey takes about two hours.

For more information about the park, how to get there, and the flowers you can expect to see in bloom when you get there, see their official website here.

By - George Lloyd.