The first time I heard about a burning bush was back when I was a child reading an Old Testament Bible, the Book of Exodus (if you are a Christian or familiar with the bible, I am sure you know about this, too). The book says that the bush was on fire but wasn’t really consumed by it. So when I heard of a burning bush garden, I thought it was some kind of illumination event in Japan where plants will either be set on fire or lit with artificial lighting. But no, that is not the case. This garden is all natural and not on fire whatsoever.
Kochia plants originated from Eurasia and are normally found on grasslands and in desert-like environments because of its drought and pest-resistant characteristic. The young Kochia is green in color but turns flaming red as it matures, one of the reasons it was nicknamed the “burning bush.”
Around 30,000 Kochia are planted in Hitachi Seaside Park (国営ひたち海浜公園) in Ibaraki Prefecture (茨城県), Japan. These adorable plants contribute to the colorful landscape of Miharashi Hills (みはらしの丘), a perfect place for flower viewing in the summer and autumn seasons.
From July to early September every year, the young Kochia plants create a green canvas inside Hitachi Seaside Park. If you like to be surrounded by green colors but don’t like going to mountains or countrysides just to see the greenery, this garden is a great place for you to visit during the summer season.
The changing of seasons seems to change nature’s colorful canvas as well. It makes the leaves of trees and some plants turn from green to red to brown, and then they wither away when winter comes.
Kochia bushes shift its color to flaming red during the autumn season. This beautiful transformation makes this plant really charming and magical, and they are great to grow in your home garden as well. But if you are not into gardening, visiting Hitachi Seaside Park from mid-September to October is the best opportunity to admire and experience the crimson landscape of Miharashi Hills inside the park.
Inside the park, there are different kinds of flowers in bloom which you can see almost all year round.
In late April to May, 4.5 million nemophilas (or Baby Blue Eyes) are simultaneously in bloom, painting Miharashi Hills a light blue color. There also are tulips, daffodils, poppies, roses, and rapeseed during spring and summer seasons. If you are interested to see the park’s beautiful sunflower garden, mid-August is the best time to admire these yellow beauties. Cosmos, zinnias, and daisies are also in bloom in September and October. So if you are fond of flowers, this is the place for you.
Pleasure Garden (プレジャーガーデン)
Inside the Pleasure Garden are several rides and activity centers for both kids and adults. Try the exciting rides such as the Giant Flower Ring Ferris Wheel (大観覧車「フラワーリング」), Family Banana Coaster (ファミリー・バナナ・コースター), and Disk-O (ディスク・オー). There is also a water plaza, a popular playground for children during the summer season, with Jabu Jabu Ponds (ジャブジャブ池), the Tunnel of Water, and the Fountain Plaza. You can also try the Gururi Forest Adventure Card Labyrinth (カード迷路ぐるり森大冒険) if you like solving puzzles and playing cards, and the Family Park Golf (ファミリーパークゴルフ) to enjoy playing golf with your family.
Shops and Restaurants
If you are looking for things to buy as souvenirs to bring back home, you can visit the Sunsun (サンサン) and Sunrise (サンライズ) Shops at Pleasure Garden. They sell wide arrays of items including ceramic arts, local products, park souvenirs, and children’s clothing.
If you get hungry or need refreshments, there are also several shops and cafes inside the garden where you can grab something to fill your tummy or quench your thirst.
Hitachi Seaside Park is an all-in-one destination for local and foreign travelers alike. It is perfect for those who are looking for things to do not too far from Japan’s capital city, Tokyo (東京). The park offers great attractions the whole year round so if you are visiting Japan, don’t fail to get a glimpse of this beautiful garden!
Booking Details: Capture the Beauty of Seasonal Flowers, Hitachi Kaihin Park