When you think of autumn, what comes into mind? Is it the different animals that come about? Perhaps the trees with falling leaves? Everyone has their own idea of their perfect fall. In Japan, it’s no different! The autumn weather in Japan is a perfect one for viewing and going to exhibitions showing off the beauty of one of nature’s greatest gifts: flowers! Traditionally, the Japanese do have their own set of autumn flowers, called Aki no Nanakusa. They consist of the following:
-Hagi (bush clover)
-Kikyou (Chinese bellflower)
-Susuki (also known as obana, Japanese pampas grass)
They’re mostly seen in parks and are depicted through various art forms like haiku, paintings, and literature. When you ask a local about the flowers they usually see in fall, that would be another story. From bush-like flowers to flowers you can make tea out of, we’ll be showcasing the different flowers you can spot in Japan during fall!
Osmanthus, or kinmokusei, is an orange blossoming tree native to Japan. The best place to look for these flowers are in Kyoto. You are more likely to see them around the city in October. When you walk by them, they give off a citrus-like smell to it, so just walking past it would really bring your spirits up! Plus, after viewing these flowers, you can even try tasting the tea made from these flowers. Surely you will taste the flavors of fall when you try the drink.
Sadly, as common as this flower is, there aren’t any festivals in particular that showcase kinmokusei. The best way to enjoy viewing the flowers is to take a nice long walk around. Who knows, maybe you’ll find even more of the flowers in the list!
Red Spider Lily
Blooming from late September to Early October are beautiful red flowers called red spider lilies. They are also known as higanbana. As beautiful as these flowers are, they actually have quite a dark meaning. I’m sure you’ve seen these at least once in some anime with the themes of losing someone or death. That is because higanbana also means death and loss in flower language, and are seen frequently in cemeteries. The best place to see these flowers is in Kinchakuda Manjushage Park, or the Koide Riverside Higanbana Festival in Fujisawa, Kanagawa prefecture. It might be best to keep a clear eye on your surroundings, you’ll never know what’s coming when you walk near red spider lilies.
Kochia, also known as houkigusa, is a bush-like herb that turns red during fall. You can see them around the city, but they are usually grown in gardens, parks, or in a more natural setting. The best place to look is in Ibaraki Prefecture, specifically in Hitachi Seaside Park. There, you can see that the earth there is mostly covered in houkigusa. As a bonus to this, there are also other attractions around Ibaraki that you can visit while you’re there!
If you really want to see the flower that is famous for being an autumn symbol in Japan, then this is the flower for you. Chrysanthemums, though not mentioned in Japan’s traditional autumn flowers, are actually one of the biggest symbols of the season! Chrysanthemums bloom during fall, and actually have quite the history. This flower has ties with the Imperial Family, and the throne of the Emperor of Japan was even called the Chrysanthemum Throne. They can be seen in countless family crests, and are even on the 50 yen coin! Because of how influential this flower is, there are festivals dedicated to chrysanthemums alone.
If you plan on going to some festivals, take note that most of them happen from October to November. Not only will you be able to look at the beautiful flowers, but you’ll also be able to take home seeds of the flower so you can have your own little chrysanthemum exhibit at home.
Cherry blossoms are traditionally flowers of spring, but did you know that there’s an autumn variant of them? Cosmos are also known as akizakura, meaning autumn cherry blossoms. They come in different shades of pink, white, and orange. You can see an abundance of cosmos in Showa Kinen Park, which is located in Tokyo. Unable to see the cherry blossoms of spring? Well, the ones of autumn are just as beautiful!
Flowers in Bloom
Those are some of the flowers you can spot around Japan in the fall! If you decide to visit Japan during the autumn season, you’d be able to see these flowers around the city. What flower reminds you most of autumn and why? Because in our opinion, all the flowers that bloom during the season show the true beauty of fall! We’ve really fallen for these flowers, or should we say, pollen for them?