Known for its spectacular cherry blossom displays and the wide variety of native orchids, Japan isn’t restricted to plants and flowers when it comes to boasting magnificent colour. From the region of Mount Fuji to the bright neon lights of Tokyo, everywhere you turn your eyes will be filled with a spectrum of dynamic shades and colours. Take a look at just some of the colourful places to visit in Japan.
Bamboo Grove – Arashiyama
Bamboo has been manufactured across Japan for centuries for the use of baskets, mats and cups and seeing it in its natural surroundings is a treat for anyone visiting the area. Whether you are looking for an easy morning stroll or want to catch a bit of shade from the sun, the Bamboo Groves of Arashiyama is the perfect place for photography lovers. With sunlight glistening through the deep, lush green stalks of the bamboo trees, it is a wonderful setting to catch some colour in Japan. The path starts at the Tenryuji temple and ends at the Nonomiya Shrine, a magnificent setting in which the bamboo groves are situated.
Torii Gates – Yamaguchi
Dating back to 711 A.D, the bright orange Torii gates at the Fushimi Inari Shrine are an eye-opening wonder of Japanese culture. The gates stand as an honour to Inari, the Shinto god of rice. The foxes roaming the surrounding grounds are said to be the messengers for Inari.
The gates themselves line a hill that leads to an outstanding view over Kyoto with food and souvenir shops along the way, but the walk is not for the faint hearted. With an average walking duration of three to four hours to get to the top and return again, it is one for those who want to stretch their legs and take in Japanese nature, history and culture. A fantastic stop-off for those who want to explore a little further when choosing one of many spectacular tours of Japan.
Japan’s highest mountain and active volcano, Mount Fuji is a photographer’s delight. As the lightly snow powered circumference glistens in the Japanese sunshine, glorious shades of blues, whites and browns can be seen from southwest Tokyo on a clear day – about 100 kilometres from the volcano itself. The near-perfect shaped volcano located in Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, it is a haven for artists, sightseers and climbers as it was added to the World Heritage List as a cultural site in 2013.
Lake Ashi which sits at the base of the mountain is a spectacular viewing spot with cherry blossom trees in the foreground. It is a beautiful combination of colours that signify Japanese heritage and its surroundings.
Hollie Mantle from the Japan National Tourism Organisation recommends visiting the mountain during the season of spring. She comments:
“Shibazakura festival near Mount Fuji, when the flowers are in bloom, creates a sea of pink in front of the mountain which is fantastic for photos.”
Hirosaki Castle Park – Aomori
Hirosaki castle was constructed in 1611 and depicts the hirayama style design seen in many Japanese buildings. But what really makes the castle stand out are the 2,600 cherry blossom trees that surround the outskirts of the area. With the pink of the flowers against the white of the castle, it makes for a glorious picture. As the building stands at an impressive 947 metres in northern Japan, it is an eye-opener for anyone visiting the site and is particularly stunning when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom between March and April.
Hitachi Seaside Park – Ibaraki
If you want to experience the ultimate in colourful places in Japan, then Hitachi Seaside Park is likely to be the go-to place! The mass of all-year round flowers makes for one of the most amazing spectacles, not just in Japan, but in the world. Covering an area of a staggering 190 hectares, the park features a million daffodils and 170 varieties of tulips and a further 4.5 million baby blue-eye flowers in the spring season.
The park is open to everyone, both walkers and cyclists. It also boasts a Ferris wheel so tourists can experience the magnificent spectacle of colour from an even greater height.
For the lowdown on when to go, take a look at our Best Time to Visit Japan page.