| John Asano
Spring Flowers at Kiso Sansen Park
Kiso Sansen Park in Kaizu, Gifu Prefecture is one of the best flower parks in central Japan and a must-see destination in spring when the spring flowers are in bloom. This family friendly park has its seasonal flowers to attract the adults, but the kid’s playground is heaven for the little ones. It is a fantastic spot to camp out for the day and enjoy all that the park has to offer.
The Largest Urban Park in Japan
Kiso Sansen National Government Park is the largest urban park in all of Japan. It straddles Aichi, Gifu and Mie Prefectures with parks located at 13 different locations including Kiso Sansen Park in Kaizu, which is one of the main parks.
Kiso Sansen Park is adorned with seasonal flowers making it a spot that can be enjoyed all year round by the whole family. It is a great place to get outdoors and simply take a relaxing walk amongst the flowers along one of the many paths within the park.
From early to late April the large flower garden is covered with the bright colors of tulips, which can be seen next to cherry blossom trees if the tulips bloom early. Tulips represent the spring season in Japan and can be found here in a variety of colors from red, white, and yellow.
The annual tulip festival brings a splash of color every spring with around 260,000 tulip and muscari bulbs with about 125 different types. The tulips are designed and arranged in the theme of a flowing river to represent the three great rivers of the area. In fact, the name “Kiso Sansen” refers to the three great rivers (Nagara, Kiso and Ibi).
From early May you can see poppies and nemophila (baby blue eyes).
From early September to early November vibrant red, purple, and pink cosmos flowers decorate the park for autumn.
Kiso Sansen Adventure Land
This large and colorful playground is suitable for children from 6 to 12 years old.
Wooden Playground (Sky Walk)
This fun playground was designed for middle to late elementary school students and is a fun place to test your climbing skills.
The grass park located near the wooden playground with its lush lawn is the perfect spot to pitch your tent and relax for the day. Here you can take a nap, stretch out and eat your picnic lunch.
Farmhouse of Waju
A unique spot amongst the flowers of the park is the Farmhouse of Waju, a reproduction of an old farmhouse in the area.
Kiso Sansen Park has one of the best winter illuminations in central Japan and best of all, it is free. From early to late December around 500,000 LED lights brightly illuminate the park creating a wonderful festive atmosphere. The theme for the winter illuminations changes every year, so it is something that you can check out year after year.
One of the highlights of the park is the 65-meter-tall observation tower, which provides stunning panoramic views of the three nearby rivers (Kiso River, Nagara River and Ibi River) as well as the surrounding mountains and rice fields of Gifu. On a clear day, you can see the Nobi Plain, which stretches from the Mino area of southwest Gifu Prefecture to the Owari area of northwest Aichi Prefecture and Ise Bay between Mie and Aichi prefectures, where the three great rivers run into.
There is also an interesting exhibition center in the tower that presents the history, climate, and nature of the area. The exhibits are very interactive with lots of information, attractions, and games that the whole family can enjoy. Entry to the tower is ¥630 for adults and ¥300 for children.
If you are feeling a little hungry, stop by the Mamaz Café located near the observation tower for a quick bite to eat. The restaurant with its large windows offers a scenic view of the park with a variety of different dishes to choose from.
When to Visit
The best time to visit the park is in either spring or autumn for the warm weather and seasonal flowers that bloom.
Schedule of Seasonal Events
The park is well known for its seasonally held events and festivals. Below is a list of the main events to check out.
●Tulip Festival - early to late April
●Spring Flower Stories – late April to mid-May
●Summer Water Stories – early to late August
●Autumn Flower Stories – early September to early November
●Winter Illuminations – early to late December
Admission to Kiso Sansen Park is free with plenty of free parking available near the park. It is well-worth a visit if you are in and around Gifu Prefecture in central Japan.
How to Get There?
The easiest way to get to the park is by car. From Nagoya, take the Higashimeihan Expressway to the Yatomi IC. The park is only about 15 minutes’ drive from the IC. You can also reach the park via a bus from Kintetsu Ishizu Station in Gifu. From Kintetsu Nagoya, take the Kintetsu Nagoya Line to Kuwana and then change to a Yoro Railway train to Ishizu Station. It takes about 70 minutes and costs ¥870. From the station you can take a Kaizu City Community Bus to Kiso Sansen Park in about 17 minutes.