PLACE: Hitachi Seaside Park (国営ひたち海浜公園)
LOCATION: Hitachinaka, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
NOTORIOUS: Bizarre Gardens
NEAREST AIRPORT: NAA, Narita Tokyo International Aiport (just under a 4 hour drive)
COORDINATES: 36.400556 N, 140.591389 E
CURRENCY: Japanese Yen
This was the first post I’ve needed to translate a wiki page to get the whole story. I’m pretty excited about that. Straight up, this place is effing surreal. The garden opened in 1991 after this vacant lot was converted to a 3.5 hectare garden and amusement park. It was a US Military bombing field – kind of eerie. The gardens have rows and rows of seasonal flowers like narcissus and tulip in the spring, nemophila and rose in the early summer, zinnia in the summer and kochia/cosmos in the autumn.
Kochia Hill is the area with the Dr. Suess like bushes – this is a must-see for me. The park is a popular tourist destination and is right next to Ajigaura Beach; from the top of the hill there is a huge view of the Pacific Ocean. Apparently, according to the English travel blogs, this place is a bitch to navigate if you don’t speak Japanese and potentially not worth the money to enter.