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Fuji Shibazakura Festival extends prime blossom-viewing season

by Sang Woo Kim

Staff Writer

Alas, the yearly cherry blossom front has left the Kanto region, leaving tiny pink petals swirling about in the spring breeze. The good news for nature lovers, though, is that more blooms are set to appear.

The Fuji Shibazakura Festival will be held from April 19 to June 1 near Lake Motosu on the northern slope of Mount Fuji. Translating as “moss phlox” in English, the shibazakura blooms with five petals similar to those of a cherry blossom. Visitors to the Fuji Shibazakura Festival should take their cameras, because with Mount Fuji in the background and a pink floral carpet in front of them, selfie opportunities should be abundant. In fact the area is so picturesque that it’s featured on the back of the ¥1,000 note.

The flowers consist of more than six varieties of mountain phlox, and there are also anemones, muscari and rhododendron planted on the grounds. Though the area is great for walking, it’s important to note that pets are not allowed.

Along with the flowers, there is a cafe and foot-bath areas available for visitors. An added bonus for visitors in May, the Mount Fuji Gourmet Festival will take place May 24 and 25, and will focus on original foods from Yamanashi Prefecture.

To get to the festival, head to Kawaguchiko Station on the Fujikyuko Line. Shuttle buses (¥1,900 for a round trip and entrance) are operated hourly between the station and the resort. Weather and blooming conditions are updated on the festival’s website.

The Fuji Shibazakura Festival takes place at Fuji Motosuko Resort in Minami Tsuru, Yamanashi Prefecutre, from April 19 to June 1 (8 a.m.-5 p.m.; ¥520 for adults, ¥210 for children). For more information, call 0555-89-3031 or visit www.shibazakura.jp