There is a little gem that is definitely worth seeing if you are in the Tokyo area. Towards the end of September, you can find a plethora of Spider Lillies. Located in the small town of Koma, it is about 1 hour North West of Tokyo on the Seibu-Ikebukuro line. Here you will find the Kinchakuda Higana Fields, a park surrounded by the Koma river, and for two weeks a year becomes a sweeping sea of red.
Amaryllis, 彼岸花 (ひがんばな or higanbana) or 曼珠沙華 (まんじゅしゃげ or manjushage) as its know in Japanese. Generally referred to as Spider Lillies in English, they are quite exotic as a single flower. However, when you see 5,000,000 of them in full bloom together its a spectacular experience for the senses.
Timing the Blossom of the Season
The season peaks particularly in the last two weeks of September, but can sometimes extend into early October. Unfortunately, I visited just at the end of the blooming season. The trip was extremely worthwhile but left me with the empty feeling that I had missed the peak of their bloom. So, naturally, I vow to return at the height of the season next year to see these burning red fields in their full fiery glory.
You should bring some kind of camera too because there are literally photo-ops everywhere you look. In fact, the surrounding natural beauty is a rare sight these days.
My recommendation is that you wander along the winding paths through the scattering of trees. All the while catching the calming sounds from the encompassing river. In this way, you can experience something truly inspiring.
Cost and Access
During the peak, you will need to pay 300 yen entry fee to gain access to the park. Among the sea of red are a variety of food stalls and entertainment towards the centre of the park. However, the main attraction is, of course, the Lillies themselves.
Kinchakuda Higabana fields can be directly accessed from Koma station, on the Seibu-Ikebukuro line. It is a decent 10 minute plus walk from the station, or you can also take the bus. Koma station takes about an hour from Ikebukuro station or approx. an hour and twenty minutes from central Tokyo station.