A unique hanami event right next to Japan’s most famous mountain.

Japan’s springtime sakura festivals usually centre around the nation’s cherry blossom trees, where people turn their heads up to gaze at the flowers. If you’re at the Fuji Shiba-sakura Festival, though, you’ll want to keep your eyes firmly on the ground, as that’s where you’ll see carpets of blossoming “shibazakura” or “lawn sakura”.

Shibazakura, or moss phlox, as it’s known overseas, is a ground cover that comes in a variety of shades, and at this festival there are eight varieties on display, in hues of white through to pale purplevibrant pinks, and even candy stripes.

The site is also home to a number of other flowers, like anemones, Japanese primroses, grape hyacinths, Forsythia, and Japanese cypripedium.

The blossoming carpets of flowers aren’t the only drawcard at the festival, as its location in Yamanashi Prefecture is incredibly close to Mt Fuji, which makes for a stunning backdrop to the blooms. This allows visitors to capture the essence of spring and winter in one photo, with the bright flowers popping in the foreground as the iconic mountain attempts to steal the show with its snow-capped peak.

Despite the pandemic, the festival is still going ahead this year, and this time there’ll be lots of hearts scattered around the venue to help boost everyone’s spirits.

▼ As well as heart-filled photo spots, there’ll be flower walls to help get you noticed on social media…

▼ And heart-shaped flower patches inside the actual floral displays (below is a sample image of what visitors can expect).

At the outdoor cafe, visitors can indulge in high-class sweets that pay homage to the pretty pink hues of spring.

And you can get a taste of Mt Fuji at the food stall area, which features a number of local specialties like Yoshida UdonFujinomiya Yakisoba, Fuji-shaped Hanpen (made with fish paste) and Karaage Pita Bread.

▼ There’ll be plenty of pretty souvenirs on hand to tempt you as well.

This year’s festival runs for just 44 days, from 17 April to 30 May, and organisers say all attendees will be required to wear masks, disinfect their hands, and keep a distance of two metres (6.5 feet) between each other.

It’s a very different setup to when we first visited the festival back in 2016, but the good news is, the spectacular scenery at the outdoor event remains unchanged. In fact, the flowers become more beautiful and more plentiful as the years go by, so even if you can’t make it to the festival this year, you can always mark it on your calendar for 2022, when hopefully the country will have opened up again to international tourists.

Festival information
Fuji Shiba-sakura Festival/富士芝桜まつり
Address: Fuji Motosu Ike Resort, Yamanashi-ken, Minamitsuru, Fujikawaguchiko, Motosu 212
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. daily (until 29 May)
Website (English)

Source, images: PR Times
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!