Each year in May, Yokohama holds their Nanohana Matsuri (translation: Rape Blossom Festival). Yokohama boasts the largest rape blossom field in Japan measuring 109 hectares (approximately 152 soccer fields). These yellow flowers are not just for aesthetics, but are a local crop. The nanohana not only is used in Japanese dishes; each hectare makes about 600 grams of rape seed oil. Nanohana is also used to make honey, ice cream, cream puffs, and doughnuts. We bought some nanohana doughnuts at the festival, they were good!
At the festival, you can go stroll through a nanohana maze while taking in the beauty and smell of this golden crop.
Or if you prefer an aerial view, helicopter rides are available for a fee.
Directions to Yokohama:
From the MAIN gate take a right at the second light. Take a right at the third light. Go straight across white pole road and turn left at the T. Take the NEXT RIGHT. You are now on Route 8. Follow 8 until you get to 4. merge RIGHT to get onto4. After two lights turn LEFT to get onto the Shimokita Expressway. Continue till the expressway ends at a T, turn LEFT onto 180. Cross over some railroad tracks and turn RIGHT onto 279. As you enter Yokohama keep RIGHT at the Y to stay on 279. You will see signs for the Nanohana Festival (Nanohana in Japanese: 菜の花). Follow these; the turn will be on your right.
Drive time: approximately 90 minutes