Most flower seasons in Japan are like hitting the jackpot, but lotus season is more of a treasure hunt. Instead of fields of I-can’t-believe-my-eyes color, you have to hunt for the sublime pinkness amid a sea of green.
But when you find it…
Lotus flowers open at first light, are at their best from about 7:00 to 9:00, then they close up again, so it pays to strap on your alarm clock and be up with the birds if you want to see them at their finest. But they bloom rain or shine, and they’re the one flower that’s always more beautiful in the rain. They start blooming in mid-July, and keep on ’til mid-August, so there’s plenty of time to get out and catch a little heavenly bliss.
Here are the very best places to see them, in and around Tokyo…
TOKYO UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE OF AGRO-ECOSUSTAINABLE SERVICES near Tanashi Station
I know this doesn’t sound like the most promising of garden experiences, but…these.
But you’ll have to go quick, to see this year’s display! This is the last week the collection will be open to the public until next year. Their website (in Japanese) is here.
Lotus exhibition opening days: June 11 – July 19 (2019), Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:45 – 10:45, plus a special final opening day on Saturday, July 20 from 7:00 – 11:00
SHINOBAZU POND in Ueno Park, near Ueno Station
And if you’re like me, there are few things more satisfying in the world than watching raindrops collect on lotus leaves until they spill:
Open: Every day
Hours: no limit to access
SANKEI-EN GARDEN in Yokohama, near Negishi Station
This garden offers special early opening hours from July 13 – August 4 (2019), so you can enjoy the blooms at their absolute peak.
Sankei-en’s early opening lotus program: 6:00 – 8:30 am, only on Saturdays, Sundays & national holidays
When: July 13 – August 4 (2019)
Garden admission: ¥700 (Early lotus hours and demonstrations are free once you’re in the gate)
KORAKU-EN GARDEN near Korakuen Station
The lotus display at Koraku-en Garden isn’t grand, but it’s set in a lovely place, and after viewing the flowers, you can stroll through the rest of the garden, which is one of my very favorite walks, in any season.
Open: Every day except 12/29-1/3
Hours: 9:00 – 17:00
You can also find lotus flowers blooming at many temples, because lotus have special meaning in Buddhist theology. The ethereally pristine flowers soar high above their muddy roots, symbolizing the way enlightened pure thought transforms and transcends its origins in mundane everyday existence.
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Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly e-magazine Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had
9 thoughts on “Where To See The Most Divine Lotus Blossoms In Tokyo”
They really are. Sometimes photos make flowers look much better than they really are, but these were even more ethereal in real life. I could only capture some of the loveliness.
You’re eyes must have nearly popped! I know cameras never see what we do!
It looks very surreal the whole blowing bubbles through a lotus thing!
I know, right? I saw a little kid doing it, and I must have been looking at him so enviously, the volunteer asked if I’d like to try it too.
Ha! Yeah these so called ‘kids activities’ never stop being enjoyable to adults too, or adults who are creative like you and me 😉 I think it’s sad that certain things are reserved for adults and not for kids. Me and my partner say to hell with that and go to every weird museum and unusual place we can find. Curiosity and happiness are connected!
You are my sistah in being totally unashamed to do kid stuff! I wish you’d been with me at the Miraikan’s poo exhibit a couple years ago, donning our little poo caps and sliding down the toilet slide. I was CONSPICUOUSLY the only adult doing so. lol
I would totally don the poop caps and slide down the toilet slide with you! Yes! I need more people in my life who do these kinds of amazing things, count me in LOL. And yes I do own a Ghibli Cat Bus that turns into a pouch and a neck pillow. I love that Japan is like this, why isn’t it acceptable to be like this in other parts of the world? I swear adults take themselves far too seriously!
Which is basically why nobody wants to adult anymore, even if they’re way past the age when they could pretend not to be one HA