VIDEO| Enjoy a spring walk at flower garden, historic Buddhist temple near Camp Zama, Atsugi

Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi: Kana Garden
Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi: Kana Garden

VIDEO| Enjoy a spring walk at flower garden, historic Buddhist temple near Camp Zama, Atsugi

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

It’s springtime, probably one of the most desirable and pleasant seasons for outings in Japan. Everywhere you turn, the landscape near and far has some beautiful and bright colors to mark this refreshing time.

Seeking to take advantage of the warmer weather, my wife and I visited the Kana Garden and Komyoji Temple in Hiratsuka City near Camp Zama and NAF Atsugi.

As we drove up alongside the Kaneme River to our destination, we were greeted by amazing views of sakura trees, stretches of lush green forest and Mt. Oyama, Mt. Fuji and the Tanzawa Mountain Range in the distance.

The Kanagawa Prefectural Center for Close Contact with Flowers and Greenery, or Kana Garden for short, is a large botanical garden with over 3,200 species of flowers and vegetable plants. The large attraction also features various farming and cooking facilities, a library, restaurants and shops.

During our visit along the garden’s “Path to Spring,” we saw blooming peach and cherry blossom trees. In the “Friend Farm,” we enjoyed countless tulips in red, yellow and white hues spread out as far as the eye can see, which made us feel as if we were dreaming. You can join various farming activities, such as rice-planting, harvesting apples, oranges, plums and potatoes and even reserve classes to cook the vegetables harvested at the cooking laboratory.

The Kana Garden is known as a rose sanctuary because of its 1,300 varieties of roses, which fully bloom between middle of May and early Jun and between middle of October and early November, making for a fantastic view.

We were not able to see roses as our visit was in early April, but we’re definitely looking forward to visit when the roses are in bloom.

After spending time enjoying the garden, we made our way to Komyoji, one of the oldest and most revered Buddhist temples in the area.

The temple was founded in 702 A.D. on the banks of the Kaneme River. The temple’s statues of Buddha, large bell and main temple hall are designated as important cultural properties. The wooden structure and the surrounding natural features created a typical Japanese landscape that made it seem like we were seeing a postcard in real life.

We enjoyed exploring the temple grounds and its quiet, peaceful atmosphere. In the garden, check out the “suikinkutsu” (aquarian harp), an earthen jar buried there which produces a sound when water drips into it. Put your ear into a long bamboo tube and listen to the harp- and wind chime-like sounds.

Our visit to these gems of Hiratsuka City was a nice way to enjoy the great weather we’re having. Make plans for your own visit to enjoy the blooms and more soon!

Kana Garden

Location: 496-1 Teradanawa, Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture

Hours (in April): 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Admission (in April): 550 yen, high schooler: 300 yen, middle and elementary schoolers: 200 yen


Tel: 0463-73-6170

Komyoji (Temple)

Location: 896 Minamikaneme, Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture

Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Tel: 0463-58-0127

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