Going hanami at Koshimizu Gensei-kaen
Hanami (translation = flower viewing) is the traditional Japanese custom of taking pleasure in the transient beauty of flowers. Most commonly it is used in reference to the enjoyment of spring cherry blossoms, but can be used in any context. Given it’s spring up here in Hokkaido at the moment we’ve been doing a far bit of incidental flower spotting, but today we intentionally went hunting floral blooms at Koshimizu Gensei-kaen.
We’ve spent the last couple of days enjoying the epic mountain vistas of Shiretoko National Park, so for a bit of a change of scenery we went towards the ocean today. We caught the train from Shari to the nearby village of Koshimizu to see the vast tract of seaside dunes, grasslands, marshland, and wildflowers the town is famous for.
Koshimizu Gensei-kaen is 275 hectare, natural flower garden sandwiched between Lake Tofutsu and the Sea of Okhotsk. There are walking trails that wind through the sandy dunes, along the black volcanic beaches, and around the lake.
With the sun shining and blue skies above us we happily spent our day meandering through the sand dunes and through the wetlands. We saw lots of flowers (just as promised in the brochures) and had a picnic on the beach, as the hawks and sea eagles soared above us.
Not a particularly exciting day, but definitely a relaxing one. And a nice way to end our stay here in the town of Shari, in far Eastern Hokkaido. Tomorrow we’re on an early morning train, bound for Sapporo; because, unfortunately, our Hokkaido sojourn is coming to an end and we must fly back to Aus on Saturday. *SIGH* Two weeks goes too quickly – it feels like we only just got started with this adventure!