Stereotypes say that girls like all things pink? Well get ready to enter the world of pink, and you will love this place your gender notwithstanding. The Fuji Shibazakura Festival (富士芝桜まつり, Fuji Shiba-sakura Matsuri) proved to be one of the biggest surprise for me in my 18th year in Japan. I have never been to this place earlier and I discovered it by chance on a Facebook post from my friend. The Fuji Shiba-sakura festival is located about three kilometers south of Lake Motosuko. We were aware of the crazy rush and the traffic conditions during golden week, so to beat the same we devised a plan. LEAVE EARLY, COME BACK EARLY. The family got up at 04:30 a.m. ready to go by 06:00 a.m.
REACHING FUJI SHIBAZAKURA FESTIVAL PLACE : REACHING BY CAR : GOOGLE MAPS (212 Motosu, Fujikawaguchiko, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture 401-0337)
REACHING FUJI SHIBAZAKURA BY TRAIN : Take a train or highway bus from Shinjuku / Tokyo, get off at Kawaguchiko Station and take a shuttle bus to the festival location.We reached dot at 08:30 a.m. with one small break in between and reached the place of the to experience the breathtaking views of vast fields of shibazakura, with Mount Fuji in the backdrop. BEAUTIFUL pink carpet of the shiba-zakura was in full bloom. Regular year, visit between last week of April to mid of May. If you go by train, use a shuttle bus, called the Shibazakura Liner which connects Kawaguchiko Station and the Fuji Shibazakura Festival’s venue (30 minutes, 1-2 departures per hour) during the festival period. A 2000 yen ticket includes the round trip and the admission fee.This one shot at the entry point itself zapped me in terms of the sheer beauty and the careful nurturing done. Official number wise it is approximately 800,000 stalks of shibazakura of five varieties with some striking beautiful colors on the fields(pink, white and purple colors in awesome hues). There is a mini Fuji-san created with the moss phlox flowers in front and the real Mount Fuji in the backdrop.The park had many tourists and as they were speaking between themselves I could tell that most were speaking in Chinese and so many had come from the mainland to visit Japan. These part few years, the tourist boom from China to Japan has really taken off. Tourism dollars ….Varied colors and hues in the shibazakura field. Now here is one tip. Mount Fuji is a vey elusive mountain, it is somewhat , how to say, downright shy. The sun might be shining in Tokyo, but the mountain can be surrounded by clouds and completely out of view near the Mount Fuji area. My tip is to visit this link which shows you the visibility of Mount Fuji on the day you visit.Not only can you enjoy some beautiful scenery, you can also do some other activities. You can purchase shibazakura-themed souvenirs. You can buy lunch, or have some beautiful sweets while enjoying the scenery. Other flowers, besides the moss phlox are also plants in the garden. The Fujiyama Sweets spot is one such location inside the park.Enjoy some nice pastries, sweets, ice-cream and enjoy some coffee also at the Sakura Cafe and Fujiyama sweets.The gardens are good to enjoy for around an hour and a half. The official documentation also says 60-90 minutes, but we stayed there for total 2 hours.
I also like the lavender color, the whole garden has a fragrance to it, quite refreshing a visit in the early morning.I am not sure of the type of this flower, but long stretches of blue or velvet color flowers lined up around the park. Crowds started to swell as the clock showed 10:30 a.m. We decided to start on our way back. Picked a Sakura flavoured ice-cream and we started towards our car.One final shot of the Mount Fuji, the moss phlox and the pond before it. The pond and the moss phlox location has the largest number of photographers who had crowded with their tripods and camera gear. I took all these snaps with an iPhone 6S Plus and I believe that they are reasonably OK. Do you need a DSLR for bright sunshine day photography anymore?A Sakura tree now, with all green leaves stands amidst the moss phlox plantation around it.On the way back we passed the FujiYoshida Exit and decided to get out and take a view of the Chureito Pagoda. Splendid as always, one never tires from visiting this location. Brilliant Mount Fuji and the beautiful five storied (gojyuuto) pagoda in the front. BLISSSSSS….With a day well spent, we zoomed back without any traffic and were back in Tokyo at 13:00. Thats like 5 hour trip with two spots, Shibazakura and Chureito Pagoda covered…. awesome day of Golden week.