Have you ever taken the time to just be in nature? Taken a deep breath in a simply let all the tension of modern day life leave your body? Hokkaido in summer has a tendency to overwhelm your senses in the most delightful way.
Most Australians know Hokkaido for its powdery ski slopes, famous Sapporo beer, and downright incredible snow sculpture festival. And fair enough — all those things are amazing!
… But have you seen the gardens in summer?
Japanese locals flock from all over the country for the sight
Row and rows of lavender bushes swaying gently in the fragrant breeze. Perfectly manicured lawns rimmed with tulips more yellow than the sun. Flowers packed so tightly together they look like
Thanks to its northern position, Hokkaido has the best weather in Japan during the summer season. It’s warm, but not too warm. Humid, but not too humid. And there is just enough rain to paint the alps a striking green.
Along the Hokkaido Garden Path, striking gardens framed by mountain ranges dot the countryside. The route is more than 200 km long, starting at Asahikawa and winding past Furano and Tokachi.
Here are the best two Hokkaido gardens that you won’t want to miss on your trip.
Kazuo Mishima is the type of person the world needs. After retiring from the agriculture industry, he set to work transforming the hillside near his house into a beautiful celebration of nature.
The garden grew out of Mishima’s imagination and desire to create “a kind of paradise created by the flowers”.
Now tiny Shibazakura flowers (nicknamed pink moss) blanket the hill in the most fantastic shades of pink. Each flower was grown from seedling and more continue to spread over the grass.
Mishima opens up his private residence to visitors when the flowers start to bloom. His goal? To share a love of flowers.
With seven themed gardens (and one goat farm), it’s no surprise that this massive project won the Grand Award and the International Award of the Society of Garden Designers Awards in 2012.
Designed around a carbon-offset theme, the collective gardens take on a massive scale that reflects Hokkaido’s diversity and size.
A personal favourite is the earth garden. Great swathes of thick green grass stretch endlessly into the distance, merging the garden with neighboring mountain ranges.
The scenery is meticulously beautiful and a true homage to the awe of nature.
The best time to visit the Hokkaido Gardens is in early summer around June. The weather is just right and all the flowers are blooming in their prime.
If you’d like to join me (Rika) on a guided small group tour to Hokkaido, click here to read more.