I’m not an outdoorsy person but, as social distancing measures have kept me mostly indoors, I’ve come to anticipate my daily walk around the neighborhood, and to more fully appreciate the local flora. Weeping cherry trees. Hyacinths. Bluebells. I’m noticing for the first time how beautiful it all is.
But if you really want to see some flowers with a serious wow factor, you should check out Hitachi Seaside Park, a Japanese park that sits along the coast of Hitatchinaka, in Ibaraki prefecture. Every year, the park is enveloped in a blanket of 4.5 million sky-blue flowers, and the effect is stunning.
These gorgeous blue blooms are called nemophila flowers, or “baby blue eyes,” and they grow in April and early May along the Miharashi Hills, which provide a perfect view of not only the flowers but also the sky and the ocean — all blue. Thanks to the lay of the land, it can often seem as if this sea of blue goes on forever.
Typically, when the nemophila bloom, the park hosts Nemophila Harmony, during which tourists are able to walk winding paths around the park, enjoying the view without danger of disturbing the flowers. At this time, in addition to gushing over the flowers, they can also spend time in the on-site amusement park, which includes rides, a garden train, golfing and more.
Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the park is closed at this time, indefinitely.
Still, the park has its own Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube feeds, on which armchair travelers can still get a sense of how awe-inspiring a view of the park can be.
We can’t get over how the blue of these flowers perfectly matches the blue of the sky.
You can even still enjoy some aspects of the amusement park, which is run by the East Japan Amusement Park Association. They’re participating in “Home Amusement Park,” through which you can watch ride experience videos and how-to videos on how to create your own amusement park at home.
Even when the nemophila are not blooming, the other seasonal flowers are absolutely gorgeous.
This isn’t the only park you can enjoy virtually. The Keukenhof botanical garden in the Netherlands is creating virtual tours on a variety of their social media feeds, and there are plenty of other virtual field trips floating around online.
Where are you “traveling” to as you social distance?