This autumn, I finally got to visit a place I’ve been wanting to visit! I knew I had to visit it the moment I first saw a picture of the kochia during autumn in Hitachi Seaside Park. This is what it looks like on the park’s official website:
Isn’t it gorgeous?
Carys was visiting in mid October – the best time to visit – and we trooped to Ibaraki (about 2 hours drive from Tokyo) on a sunny Sunday.
This was what we saw:
Ideal world vs reality. Haha.
We were already expecting it to be very crowded though (peak season + Sunday + free admission day), so it wasn’t a big surprise.
Instead, what I was surprised at was how sparse the kochia plants were. In the photo the fields look lush and full, but in reality…
Although they don’t look as nice on photos, but in real life when we are looking around us at the hill of fiery kochia, we hardly have enough time to process the beauty before us, much less find fault with it :)
Besides, everything is just a matter of angles!
Tadah! How’s that for lushness and brilliance?
We slowly made our way to the top of the hill and enjoyed the view from the top!
More photos on the way down:
One thing that really annoyed me was the people (I noticed most of them were non-Japanese) who trampled right past the “Do not enter” sign to get into the middle of the kochia for a photo. There’s no excuse they cannot read Japanese because the sign was in English with the universal no entry symbol, and there were clear barrier logs lining the pathways. Plus, did they think the remaining 99% of the crowd were idiots and chose to take photos outside the borders instead of a beautiful picture by stepping into the midst of the kochia like them?
The worst thing is they have absolutely NO consideration for the plants. They just stomp into the bushes like a rampaging elephant, with bag, legs, and everything else hanging off them bashing into the poor plants, plonk themselves into the midst of the bushes, take their stupid photo, and then exit the same barbaric way. They don’t give a damn about the plants as long as the plants look good on their photo. BLOODY INCONSIDERATE AND SELFISH. Karma will get them. One day they’ll bash into another field thinking they can get away with it like before and find themselves facing the wrath of a thousand poison ivy. On their butts. And a snake will also suddenly creep up on them, scaring them and causing them to drop and consequently spoil their cameras (no more photos! bwahaha). Before biting them. Hah.
There actually IS a way to take photos looking like you’re basking amidst the kochia without damaging the plants or pissing other people off making them mentally rain poison ivy and snakes on you.
As you might have seen on my instagram:
How to do it? Observation skills and patience.
I saw someone else do it so we followed suit ;D And patience is required to hold a squat pose and wait endlessly till the perfect moment where there is no one else in the photo.
We were actually squatting on a pathway between two kochia fields!
A behind-the-scenes photo while waiting for the crowd to clear:
Apart from kochia, the cosmos flowers were also in full bloom!
The park is extremely huge and also beautiful during other seasons. But I think it’s prettiest during autumn, with spring coming a close second.
Definitely worth a visit! I’m glad I got to see this :)
Hitachi Seaside Park 国営ひたち海浜公園
605-4 Onuma-aza, Mawatari, Hitachinaka, Ibaraki 312-0012
Hi, i’m planning to go to hitachi on early november.. but i saw in hitachi flower calendar, kochia will available until mid of october.. do you go in october or november?
Hi, I wrote in the post above that I visited in mid October.
I also went again this year two weeks ago and it was at its prime. November would unfortunately be too late :(
Haha I loved your rant about inconsiderate tourists. I feel just as vehemently as you do. Nothing irritates me more when traveling than disrespectful entitled tourists!
Anyway, thanks for the helpful post. My wife and I are planning on visiting in October so I was doing research on best time to go. Mid-October it is! 😄