If you like fruit, then Hanahata Horticultural Park is the place for you. Despite being inside the city limits, you can enjoy fruits and flowers year-round. The 14.7-ha park opened in 1984 at the foot of Aburayama in Minami Ward on the former site of the prefecture’s horticultural experiment center. It boasts around 1,300 fruit trees spanning 87 varieties.
In the citrus zone, which is home to Satsuma mandarins, pomelo and the like, you can pick mandarin oranges in the fall. The park also grows persimmons, pears, peaches, apples, plums, chestnuts and kiwi fruit. The apple orchard features Newton’s Apple Tree, which was grafted from the tree under which Newton is said to have discovered the law of gravity. Rarer species include almond and walnut trees.
Hanahata Horticultural Park not only grows fruit trees, it also plays an important role in sharing horticultural knowledge and technologies. The park employs full-time experts whom you can call for information or consult with when you visit. If there is anything you want to know about horticulture, don’t hesitate to ask! There’s also a classroom where resident horticulturists offer lectures on how to grow fruit and prune trees.
At the Hanahata Marche shop, you can buy the fresh seasonal fruit grown in the park. The park also hosts sketch competitions and other regular events that are fun for all ages. There is a grassy area with playground equipment for children and an observation deck that affords great views of the city, making the park a great place to spend a lazy day any time of year—not to mention it’s one of the city’s hidden gems for springtime cherry blossom viewing.
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn239, Nov. 2018)