Even skies of gray couldn’t dampen this burst of color in the heart of Tenjin, steps away from Nishitetsu Fukuoka Station in Kego Park. Flower City Fukuoka Spring Festival is an interactive botanical showcase, showing the best of the community’s green fingers and a quiet spot for some well earned relaxation on a spring day.
Upon entry visitors are greeted with a panorama of spring in bloom. If you wind your way around the familiar paths of Kego Park you’ll see a series of community-made installations clustered along the footfalls of visitors. These fantastic flowerbeds are brimming with life, and are the creations of local community groups and businesses doing their part to make the city a little greener. Cute little garden paths making their way through English style gardens and even an Olympic torch made from an explosion of pink roses feature among the community creations, but perhaps the highlight from all of these is the beautiful wall of baskets made by local first and second graders. Vibrant oranges, yellows and pinks stud the wall, bringing another rush of color to the scene.
If this has got your green fingers itching but your botany skills just about stretch to a garden salad, then worry not! This Saturday (April 13) there will be a workshop from 11:00~14:00 on how best to pot your plants in an environmentally friendly way. It’s good for your garden and good for the planet so get digging! For those in the mood to bring some plantlife home, there are two great stores within the grounds, each with exciting purchases (literally) sprouting out of the woodwork. The always delicious Manu Coffee is also on standby to provide an accompanying beverage for the greenery.
The main event of course is Fukuoka-based flower performance group Denko-Saka’s installation “One Person, One Flower” which dominates the center of the park. This water botanical art display aims to bring into focus our interactions with nature as a community, and then put it on show for all to see. Each day, on a first come first serve basis, up to 200 visitors are invited to pick their favorite flower from a curated collection, place it in a bottle and let it flow into the display. Jets gather and spin these bottles into a swirling collage of color, each flower specifically chosen because of its sharp vibrancy. At sunset, spotlights shine upon the centrepiece, taking onlookers to a different scene beneath the sea. The result is a spectacular, almost haunting, vision of color that at its heart, is created by the hundreds of people that view it.
While all these things are beautiful, perhaps the best thing about the spring festival is how people get lost in it. People, rushing to and from work, caught up in their busy lives take a few minutes to sit and take in this glimpse of nature right in the middle of the city. As Keats once said, “The poetry of earth is never dead”, and neither is beauty in the city – I whole-heartedly recommend this event.
Flower City Fukuoka Spring Festival
• 4/6 (Sat.) ~ 4/14 (Sun.)
• Denko-Seka flower performance (limit 200 persons/day): 10:00~16:00, viewing ~21:00, Light up: sunset ~ 21:00
• Free (some exclusions; workshops: ¥500)
• Kego Park
• 2-2 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Report and Photos by Kenji Newton for Fukuoka Now