Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Karumai Tulip Festival



This beautiful park in Karumai Town (in Iwate Prefecture, located just south of Hachinohe) is very reminiscent of Holland. The 16m windmill is not functional, but looks great (it spins by motor). You can enter the windmill (after taking off your shoes) for free to get a great panoramic view of the park. (below).     

       Pano 1

This year was the first year ITT offered transportation to Karumai for the tulip festival. The garden has over 7,000 square meters of tulips and is located on 24 hectacres of land. There are 42 different types of tulips, in various colors including red, white, yellow, orange, pink and purple. 





There is a fee of ¥300 for adults and ¥150 for elementary and junior high students to go down into the park to get a closer look at the tulips. (Groups of 10 people or more get a ¥50 discount each)  Free areas of the park include the windmill and the path to this red bridge. There is also an outside shop on the corner where you can purchase tulips to plant at home.


I recommend going on this trip by car rather than taking the ITT trip. I feel it was overpriced for such a short drive. I do’t regret it though, since I had an FSS gift card, it was still free. You can get to the Karumai Tulip festival by following the directions in this map.

Tenshochi Park





This year the cherry blossoms were blooming late, so instead of heading north to Hirosaki, we went south to Kitakami, Iwate to Tenshochi Park. It is one of the Three Best Hanami Spots in Michinoku and was also selected as one of the 100 Best Hanami Spots by the Japan Cherry Blossom Association! There are over 10,000 cherry blossom trees (twice as many as Hirosaki!) and 100,000 azaleas!

The blossoms were not fully bloomed when we went but it was still beautiful. In the above photo you can see the outside of the sakura tunnel. The outer trees’ blossoms were beautiful! They had a lot of vendors in the main park selling delicious festival food.



One special treat was this “monkey show.” Video to come.


This festival was held during Golden Week. These koinobori or carp streamers, fluttered in the wind over the Kitakami River. It is impossible to miss on your way to Tenshochi Park.


You can get to Tenshochi Park by following these Directions from Misawa Airport. Parking is very limited. We were lucky enough to have a nice elderly man let us use his rather large driveway!