Want to view the most colorful blooms in Japan but concerned about the weather or season not being in your favor? Do you want to visit a very unique and enormous garden set against the backdrop of a magnificent mountain which allows you to view the flowers all year round without being affected by natural elements? If so, you’ve got to visit Tottori Hanakairou (とっとり花回廊) which will definitely meet these needs!
Tottori Hanakairou i.e. Tottori Hanakairou Flower Park is located in Nanbu-cho of Tottori Prefecture (鳥取県西伯郡南部町), a 15-km drive away from JR Yonago Station (JR米子駅). A free shuttle bus service brings visitors from this train station to the park so you won’t have to worry about transport arrangements.
Measuring 50 hectares, which is about the size of 11 Tokyo Domes, Tottori Hanakairou is the largest flower park in Japan which allows visitors to see flowers all year round.
There are several reasons as to why Tottori Hanakairou is a place you should visit if you are traveling in Tottori Prefecture.
1. Millions of flowers
First of all, there are 400 different species of about 2 million stalks of flowers here, so you will be treated to varying views no matter how many times you visit the park. Since the park’s main flower is the lily, it houses all 15 species of wild lilies native to Japan in the greenhouse. This makes it the only facility in the country to do so and they allow you to see these lovely flowers all the time even in the midst of winter. Even as you admire the flowers displayed outdoors, you can be shielded from the harsh sunlight, downpours, heavy snowfall, or the bitter cold as they can be viewed from the 1-km long piazza. Furthermore, there are various smaller gardens around the flower dome such as the European Garden (ヨーロピアンガーデン), Mist Garden (霧の庭園), Herb Garden (ハーブガーデン), and the Flower Valley (花の谷) which are bound to satisfy your senses.
2. Scenic background
Secondly, unlike other flower parks, the scenery here is accentuated by the presence of the 1,709-m high Mt. Daisen (大山) in the background, the surrounding thicket, and the natural landscape featuring a series of small hills and flat land.
3. Convenient facilities
Thirdly, the park’s facilities are designed to be user-friendly, especially for the elderly, those in wheelchairs, and parents who use prams for their children, thanks to the gentle slopes and ramps.
If you want to take a break from the walking and enjoy a tour around the park with ease, hop onto the Flower Train which will allow you to see the entire place in 15 minutes. Tickets are charged at 300 yen for adults and 150 yen for primary and junior high students. If you intend to book the entire train for your group of up to 45 people, you would need to pay 15,000 yen.
On the other hand, there is a Flower Cart service which allows you to see the park at a more leisurely pace of one hour and offers access to some spots that are not accessible by the larger Flower Train. Correspondingly, the charges are higher at 1,000 yen for adults and 500 yen for primary and junior high students, but there are some discount coupons included with your ticket which you can use on the same day of your visit. If you want to reserve this exclusively for your group of no more than seven people, that would come at a charge of 8,000 yen.
For the operation hours of these services, you can visit this website (Japanese only) to check the timings which differ depending on the season. As Tottori gets quite a lot of snowfall during winter, these services will only operate on weekends from January to mid-February. In the event of adverse weather or the roads being frozen, the services will also be suspended without prior notice so be sure to check out the weather conditions before your visit.
4. Night illuminations
Last but not least, the park offers a unique experience to its visitors by opening its doors even at night so that you can see the flowers literally in a different light. Approximately 14,000 light bulbs are used to make the 80,000-square meter area surrounded by the piazza come to life in the moonlight garden-themed light show crafted by renowned lighting designer Ishii Motoko.
If you are planning to visit the park this winter, take note of their upcoming winter flower illumination event from November 23, 2017, to January 31, 2018, which is said to be the largest illumination event in the Chugoku and Shikoku region.
Before you visit, it is best to check the event calendar here (Japanese only) where the days you can visit are marked with a star. The night entrance tickets will only allow you to enter after 5:00 PM so you might want to get the day tickets instead which will allow you to stay all the way until closing time.
For more details on the entrance fees, you may wish to check this page. Take note that the prices are slightly higher during spring and summer which is probably due to the warmer weather being more conducive for viewing flowers.
After reading all about Tottori Hanakairou, are you eager to find out for yourself if it really looks as good as described? Do include this signature spot in your itinerary when touring Tottori and be awed by the beautiful rhapsody of colors in this magnificent garden!