Beppu Kouen: My First Spring in Japan
The spring view in Japan is unbeatable. Flowers in full bloom, cherry blossom streets, the explosion of colours, all celebrate the arrival of the warmth of spring.
This article holds the best photos I have of the beautiful pink scenery at Beppu Park! Before going to Japan, I have never experienced spring, so I was excited to experience it for the first time.
I decided to go to Beppu Kouen with my friend to celebrate the season to its fullest.
This 27-hectare park is located near the Beppu City Hall. The park boasts a great diversity of flora, from flower patches to hundred-year-old pine trees. Best of all, this park is free of charge - you can enter anytime as it is opened 24 hours a day!
It took quite a while to walk from the bus stop we dropped of to, but to our surprise, even before arriving at the park, the spring landscape was already surrounding us as we walked down the road.
We decided to stop by the nearest supermarket, Direx, to buy snacks and drinks to bring to the park. The classic takenoko no sato chocolates and chips, along with peach and apple flavoured tea.
The neighbourhood was pretty with sparks of bright pink and green. The evening air was fresh, and the cool breeze made kept us going through. We may have walked a distance from the supermarket to the park, but it did not feel like a burden at all.
We enjoyed the slightly warm afternoon through and through.
The scenery was transforming as we approached closer to the park. The dense forest grew larger and along the sidewalk, we were accompanied by a trail of vibrant red tulips, alternating with small yellow blossoms at the exact same distances.
The incredible attention to keeping perfect organization when planting these flowers still amazes me to this day.
At last, we arrived at the entrance of the park. We passed through the gates and we were greeted by waves of colours.
We sat down on the benches and enjoyed our snacks while chatting. The sunlight was sweetly subtle passing through the floral foliage. The cherry blossom petals pouring down, sprinkling all over the park was a charming sight.
We then walked through exploring the massive park. The landscaping of Beppu Kouen is rather unique compared to those found in other parks near the beach of Beppu.
The wooden bridges and small rivers adorned by the arranged rocks gave traditional touches to the area. The trees and flower patches were arranged to form waves, giving a more immersive feel for the visitors.
While it does not have statues or water fountains like those found in Matogahama kouen, it is the richness of nature, the vastness of the land and the endless potential for beautiful photoshoot locations which make Beppu Kouen a favourite for hanami amongst people living in Beppu.
On the elevated grounds, we saw families and friends sitting down on mats, enjoying the food they packed together. Couples held hands walking side by side and old people jogged around the road. Children were playing badminton and volley with the older kids, laughing and running around freely around the open area.
There is also a bamboo forest within Beppu Kouen, and perhaps it is the only park within Beppu to have one this dense.
With twists and curved pathways, it felt like an adventure in itself. Watching the tall bamboo stems overlapping each other was almost hypnotizing. A stress-relief get-away for anyone in need of healing.
We spun around and eventually came back to the front part of the park. Dyed almost completely in pink, the cherry blossoms coating the waters and sidewalks were magical.
I would definitely come again next year in a heartbeat, to see the flowers bloom again. I look forward to bringing my friends here and enjoying a hanami with them.
If you are planning to come to Japan in the future, it may be best to come in spring - otherwise, you won't be able to enjoy the irreplaceable spring scenery of Japan.
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