Springtime Miyazaki: Sea, Sunshine and Spirits
Springtime doesn’t just bring with it balmier breezes and sunshine. It also heralds that delicious combination of cherry blossoms and sake-soaked carousing known as the “hanami picnic.” But if a leisurely stroll through thousands of blossoms other than cherries is more your cup of tea, why not head down to the Miyazaki Flower Festa? Held for the 36th time this year at Kodomo no Kuni park and other venues, this year’s Festa boasts several special events to encourage visitors’ interest in gardening. There’ll be gardening workshops and flowerbeds designed with fairytale themes, such as a giant “Cinderella’s Garden” number and a “Gulliver’s Travels” flowerbed, replete with a four-meter-tall Gulliver. Add to that dozens of pretty walkways and a ferris wheel from whose 45-meter-high peak you can view Miyazaki City, the Seagaia resort and the azure-blue Nichinan Sea. Kodomo no Kuni is just a stone’s throw from the Sheraton Resort Phoenix Seagaia (tel. 0985-21-1111) and the Miyazaki City Phoenix Natural Zoo (0985-39-1306), where visitors can even pet the animals. While youﾕre in Miyazaki, be sure to sample some imo-shochu (spirits distilled from potato), the favorite local mood-maker and enjoy a variation on the hanami theme in true southern style. Who said anything about spring having sprung? In Miyazaki, summer is just around the corner…
Miyazaki Flower Festa 2003
Dates: March 15 (Sat.) June 1 (Sun.)
Inquiries: 0985-25-4676 (the Miyazaki flora and greenery association; Japanese only)
Main venue: Kodomo no Kuni (see details below)
Other Flower Festa venues: Flora Lante Miyazaki (Miyazaki City); Saitobaru Burial Mounds Historic Park (Saito City); Hanatachi Park (Kitago-cho); Mochio Park (Miyakonojo City); Shiihae Park (Mimata-cho); Nobeoka Botanical Park (Nobeoka City); Bokusui Park (Togo Town); events also held at 44 other minor venues.
Kodomo no Kuni
Address: 7275-1 Kaeda, Miyazaki City
Admission: Adults 800 yen; Children 400 yen
Getting there: By train, take the Nichinan Line from JR Miyazaki Station in the Shibushi/Aburatsu direction to JR Kodomo no Kuni Station (15 min); By car, 10 min from Miyazaki IC.