I used to think that welcoming spring in Japan can only mean one thing: Sakura aka cherry blossoms.
Boy oh boy was I wrong! It was late March when I decided to bring two friends to Awaji Hanasajiki and we were stunned by the sea of vibrant yellow canola flower.
Hanasajiki stands atop of hilly northern part of Awaji Island, offering the view of Akashi strait and Osaka bay. The flowers cover almost all 15 hectares of the field, that is around baseball stadium times four! Every season you are in for a different treat in Awaji Hanasajiki: yellow canola and murasaki hanana (Chinese violet cress) in spring, purple verbena and sunflower in summer, red salvia or scarlet sage and multicolor hoary stock in autumn and winter.
It was a rather warm afternoon in the beginning of spring when we visited Hanasajiki. In front of our eyes, there lay beds of yellow canola flower, clear blue sky as ceiling, and wall of mountain range with Osaka bay peeking through. We weren’t the only ones mesmerized by the scenery. People of different background: group of crazy friends (the type that you just know they’re crazy when you see one), sweet seniors couple, even professional model with professional cameraman, gather to enjoy the nature.
Sure, you will be tempted to get that perfectly-instagrammable-candid-smiling-in-between-canola-flowers pictures and please do take them! Just don’t forget to look at the beauty surrounding you and take one or two deep breath. No camera can do justice to the view anyway. Speaking of deep breath, I think yellow canola flower smells rather funny, don’t you think? Go to Awaji Hanasajiki and see, or I guess, smell for yourself!
Another great thing about Awaji Hanasajiki is that the park is free, both for entrance and parking. Upon entering the field, there is a small shop selling local produces, perfect for omiyage (gift or souvenir you give after returning from trip). They also sell seasonal specialty, at that time it was yuzu soft ice cream. It’s a perfect balance of tanginess and freshness!