Many might think that the Hitachinaka Seaside Park (ひたちなか海浜公園) is just another offshoot of Alice in Wonderland. In reality, this park has more to offer that will make your visit awesome. Located just a few miles from Katsuta Station, lies a magnificent and beautiful park that quietly sits opposite the ocean. Borrowing elements from the Western Orchards, it houses a wide spectrum of seasonal flora. Red bushes, also known as the Mexican Fireweed or Kochia (コキア) in Japanese, turn red in October every year.
Covering an area of 350 hectares, the Hitachinaka Seaside Park (ひたちなか海浜公園) is five times the size of Tokyo Disneyland. The green colored bushes are traditionally harvested for its nectar and fruits, Kochia-flavored ice creams are sold all over the park by stall vendors for only 150 yen. It tastes a bit sweet like honey and has this unworldly aftertaste. Winds bashed the prairies and manmade hills, which creates optimal living conditions for these desert striving plants. Hitachinaka Seaside Park gets the most visitors in mid October, the evergreen bushes turn blazing red from 12th to 25th October. To avoid congestion, visiting the park during the weekdays is a must.
Small trains ply around the park from 9am to 5pm but it’s highly advisable that you walk around the park instead to enjoy the scenic view. Renting bicycles in the park is also recommended for those nature lovers. The park is divided into a few key areas, so get a map in a reception desk to avoid rambling off track. Patches of flowers are planted along the way that leads directly to the straggly Miharashi area where the red bushes are, so rely on the flowers, it’s your own personal GPS.
The flower pilgrimage doesn’t end there. The valley of aroma (香りの谷), the Egg Forest Garden (卵の森公園), the Rose Garden (バラの公園), just to name a few, nestled in the hard-to-reach hilly grasslands. The gardens are far-off from each other, so most visitors get around with a bicycle. Tandem bicycles, bicycles with two seats, are also rentable at a higher price. Cycling tracks zigzag about the seaside park which adds more to the park experience. The flowering expanse is also a habitat of creepy crawlers, butterflies and dragonflies. Photographers rushed around taking photos, which makes the lively vibe even more colorful. The park is a must-see that never lets any flower lover with a vibrant heart down.