Karaoto Suisen Park
Over two million daffodils bloom in this seaside park during the winter.By Laura Payne
Japan’s cherry blossoms are famous worldwide, but Masuda in western Shimane Prefecture makes a name for itself through daffodils, the city’s official flower.
In the 1990s, locals of Masuda began planting and tending daffodils at Karaoto Suisen Park. Today, over two million bulbs are spread across the hilly landscape, and locals maintain the plants even now.
The flowers usually bloom between mid-December and the end of February, making this park a sight that adds color to the winter months and hints at the approaching spring.
Daffodils in Japan
The flowers planted at Karaoto Suisen Park are called Japanese narcissus, which, as the name suggests, are one of Japan’s most common types of daffodils. They are recognizable by their white and yellow blooms, which are smaller than other daffodil varieties.
Daffodils are not native to Japan, but some sources claim they were introduced in China centuries before. Since then, the Japanese narcissus has become a popular flower in parks and gardens nationwide.
Multiple walking trails at Karaoto Suisen Park lead visitors through the daffodil fields. During the full bloom, the park becomes a sea of white and yellow, making it a popular spot for photographers. The blooming flowers also emit a distinct fragrance.
The ocean and the shore
Besides its daffodils, Karaoto Suisen Park is known for its coastal views. The park is adjacent to the Kamate Coast, a shoreline shaped by the ocean into rocky cliffs and sea caves.
The ocean is a deep blue on clear days, striking against the rocks. Sunsets over the Sea of Japan can also be seen from here.
Look carefully along the shore, and you might spot the Karaoto no Jagan, or the Karaoto Snakelike Rock. This rock formation, which is about 1 meter wide and 300 meters long, is said to resemble a snake resting on the shore. It is estimated to have been formed millions of years ago and is a designated natural monument.
Topics: flower parks, Japan's Great Outdoors, shimane