Garden Necklace YOKOHAMA is once again happening in the port city, Yokohama (横浜)! As a part of the 33rd National Urban Greenery Fair (全国都市緑化フェア), the City of Yokohama will be decorated with over a million flowers in an effort to promote nature preservation and a greener city.
Even though Yokohama is located right next to the ocean, they host an urban greenery fair every year. For 2017, the event begins on the 25th of March and continues to the 4th of June. The main locations are at the Minato Garden (みなとガーデン) and at the Satoyama Garden (里山ガーデン). The Minato Garden is the urban section of the event, while the Satoyama Garden is the more rural section. The event’s main feature is the flowers, with a total of more than 1 million, that fill each garden/location around Yokohama.
The Minato Garden is aimed to represent the combination of Yokohama’s history and future. The Yokohama Port (横浜港) area is known for its historical buildings and its cityscape with red brick buildings. During this greenery fair, the port will be filled with hedges and many other natural additions all throughout.
The Yamashita Park (山下公園) will also be lit up every night so you can enjoy the illuminated rose arches, creating a magical atmosphere within the park that can only be enjoyed at Yokohama this time of year.
The Japanese word “satoyama” translates to “woodland” in English and is usually used to point to a woodland near an urban area. The Satoyama Garden will be located right next to the Yokohama Zoo/Zoorasia. The aim of this garden is to promote Yokohama as an area filled with greenery and for people to feel close to nature.
The Satoyama Garden will feature an outdoor athletic park and an area to enjoy a limited version of glamping (glamorous camping). There will also be an outdoor cafe in the woods called MORI cafe where you can enjoy some desserts and hot tea while being close to nature.
There are three main theme flowers for Garden Necklace YOKOHAMA 2017:
1. Cherry Blossom
For the first half of the event (from late March to mid-April), over 12 types of cherry blossoms are planned to be placed all over both gardens. It will be an amazing sight definitely worth visiting once they are in full bloom.
The second theme flower is the tulip and there will be over 300,000 bulbs around the city. You can witness a new variety of tulips, “Lovers’ Town,” that change their colors over time at this fair. The tulips will be in full bloom from late March to the end of April.
The rose is the third and last theme flower, which is actually the official flower of Yokohama. It is the symbol of how Yokohama is a city filled with greenery and nature. There will be three rose gardens throughout the two main areas. The roses are going to be in bloom from early May up to the end of the event.
You can visit the Minato Garden of the Garden Necklace YOKOHAMA via various stations (Minatomirai Station [みなとみらい駅], Bashamichi Station [馬車道駅], Nihon-odori Station [日本大通り駅], and Motomachi-Chukagai Station [元町中華街駅]) on the Minatomirai Line (みなとみらい線) or from Sakuragicho Station (桜木町駅) on the Yokohama Municipal Subway Blue Line (横浜市営地下鉄ブルーライン). You can also enjoy a nice walk throughout the city if you get off at Yokohama Station (横浜駅).
In order to visit the Satoyama Garden, there is a bus that heads to the park from either Tsurugamine Station (鶴ヶ峰駅) on the Sotetsu Line (相鉄線) or from Nakayama Station (中山駅) on the Yokohama Municipal Subway Green Line (横浜市営地下鉄グリーンライン).
Note, however, that there is no parking space at each of the gardens so make sure to visit via public transport! For more detailed information on how to get there, check this page here (Japanese only).
If you are lucky enough to be in the Yokohama area during the duration of Garden Necklace YOKOHAMA 2017, I highly suggest visiting both the Minato Garden and the Satoyama Garden. If you don’t have enough time to go out of your way and get to the Satoyama Garden, there are more than enough things for you to enjoy at the Minato Garden. So why not visit and refresh your mind by viewing thousands of flowers at Yokohama this spring?