Kinchakuda Park, Spider Lilies

DSC00222Sometime between mid-September and the beginning of October, Kinchakuda Park boasts a world-class Spider Lily (Lycoris Radiata) exhibit. The vast sea of red flowers is a huge attraction for the Kantō Plain, and Saitama prefectures. These flowers are only in full bloom for 5 to 6 days so if you want to see the garden at its peak, visit the park’s web page to see photos of the blooming progress, Kinchakuda Park Website. On the park’s website there is a calendar showing the Spider Lilies previous bloom times. H25 and H26 stand for years 2013 and 2014, according to the Japanese calendar. In spring, one hundred cherry trees and rapeseed fields bloom at Kinchakuda. Again, check the park’s website for blooming details. Note: The bulb of the Spider Lily is poisonous and the juice from the flower stalk may cause dermatitis.

DSC00247Temporary food tents, with Japanese fast food, are located towards the middle of the park, but these may be absent during the low flower season. There are not many picnic tables so perhaps bring a picnic blanket. Picnicking on the dry part of the riverbed is common. At the northwestern corner of the park is Alishan Café, a mainly organic eatery. This place has a balcony and seemed very popular when we walked by. On the northeastern side of the park, there is an interesting wooden truss bridge called Aiai. Some say it is the longest wooden truss bridge in Japan at approximately 91.2 meters. Access to and around the park from Koma Station is very stroller friendly. Perhaps bring extra clothes if your child/children play in the river. Admission is ¥300 during the Spider Lily season. Outside this, I believe the park is free. From April to October, the park is open from 08:30 to 17:15 everyday, except Tuesdays. The park is closed from November through March. Linda Bell, October 2014.

DSC00318DIRECTIONS: The GPS coordinates for the park’s entrance, closest to Koma Station in Saitama, are N35.88125 E139.30979. Other entrance/exits are situated around the park. During the peak Spider Lily season, I believe the easiest way to get to the park is to take the train from the Higashifussa Station (Hachiko Line) to Koma Station. This route takes just over 30 minutes and there is only one change at Higashihanno Station to the Seibu Chichibu Line. At Higashihanno Station, a Suica card or new ticket is needed to change lines. At the Koma Station, there are maps that give directions to the western entrance of the park. There are elevators at all the aforementioned stations, except Higashifussa which has 2 lots of approximately 50 stairs. For those with strollers, instead of taking the stairs on the right as you come out of Koma Station, go straight so you link up with the sidewalk on your right.

Parking, in and adjacent to the park, is ¥500. Be prepared for traffic congestion during the Spider Lily season.

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