About Hitachi Seaside Park
What are Kochias?
Autumn Kochia: Hitachi Seaside Park's Kochia in their Full Prime
The Changing Colors of Kochias through the Seasons
What Happens to the Kochia After their Season ends?

In autumn, the fields of Hitachi Seaside Park become a gorgeous red carpet of kochia plants, that awes the eyes of viewers. Hitachi Seaside Park in Hitachinaka City, Ibaraki Prefecture is well-known for its spring-time nemophila fields, but the autumn scenery of 30,000 Kochia plants is equally breathtaking. Kochias are cute and visually fun to look at too, making them just as enjoyable in the summer as they are in their autumn prime.

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For more on the history & travel information of Hitachi Seaside Park↓↓
Enjoy Hitachi Seaside Park & its 4 Vibrant Seasons of Flowers!

Ibaraki < Hitachinaka

Hitachi Seaside Park Nemophila Field

Enjoy Hitachi Seaside Park & its 4 Vibrant Seasons of Flowers! The nature-rich Hitachi Seaside Park is in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki. Inside the park are vast flower fields with nemophila, kochias & more that don the park in vibrant hues through every season. We'll explore why Hitachi Seaside Park is worth a visit!

Parks & Playgrounds

About Hitachi Seaside Park

Hitachi Seaside Park is a state-run park along the coastline of Hitachinaka City, boasting a rich natural landscape full of plants and flowers. With tulips and nemophila in the spring, roses and sunflowers in the summer, and cosmos and kochia during the autumn, a huge variety of flowers and plants give this well-known landmark of Ibaraki a different palette for every season.

On Fares & Reservations

Starting 2020, Hitachi Seaside Park has added a ¥250 "event fare" to its admission during the prime seasons of kochia and nemophila. During autumn of 2020, the this fare is effective between October 15th and October 26th.

There are also days during kochia season that fares become free. In 2020, these days are October 4th and October 11th, and parking remains paid during these days too.

Additionally, during particular days in 2020 that high traffic is expected, admission to Miharashi-no-Oka (Miharashi Hill) will be reserved for those who have pre-purchased a separate entry ticket. This separate ticket is not required for visitors who do not plan to visit Miharashi-no-Oka.
These days are all in October 2020, and are the 11th, 17th, 18th, 24th and 25th. Reservations are open from 10:00am on September 19th 2020, on the official website. If you plan on visiting Hitachi Seaside Park on any of these days, make sure you check the website as well!

What are Kochias?

autumn kochia at hitachi seaside park

The vibrant kochia of Hitachi Seaside Park
Kochia are a plant of the Amaranthaceae family, and originate in southern Europe. They are an annual plant, meaning that they complete their life cycle through germination, blossoming, and withering all within one year. The Japanese name for them, "hoki-gusa" means "broom grass", and they were appropriately dried and used as broom heads in old times.

Kochia seeds can actually be eaten, and in Akita Prefecture they have been loved by the name of "Tonburi" for many generations. Because of their texture, shape and color, they have been nicknamed "farm caviar."

*The kochia at Hitachi Seaside Park are not for consumption.

The Meaning and "Hanakotoba" of Kochia

In the Japanese culture of "hanakotoba" ("flower words") in which different flowers are given individual words and meanings, the kochia represents "a blessed lifestyle" and "full honesty to you." The "blessed lifestyle" was interpreted from the daily versatility of kochia branches and seeds in purposes other than viewing. The latter "full honesty to you" was inspired by the manner in which kochia plants turn their green leaves into a bright red during autumn, which reminded people of a woman flushing her cheeks red.

Autumn Kochia: Hitachi Seaside Park's Kochia in their Full Prime

The kochia in Hitachi Seaside Park in autumn

Kochia during autumn

You will catch the fluffy kochia in their prime season during the autumn. The kochia are planted on the Miharashi-no-Oka (Miharashi Hill) in Hitachi Seaside Park, which has the highest altitude in all of Hitachinaka City. The entire hill is dyed a deep, pure red every year from early to mid-October.
This vast red carpet is a view difficult to find anywhere else, and is what draws many tourists to this location every year.

Enjoy the Cosmos too at Hitachi Seaside Park!

The kochia and cosmos of hitachi seaside park

Kochia and cosmos

Cosmos is well loved in Japan as an autumn flower, and at Hitachi Seaside Park, there are over 2 million cosmos plants that blossom every fall. The cosmos flowers planted at the foot of Miharashi Hill bloom in early to mid-October, just like the Kochia. Not many places in Japan will let you capture kochia and cosmos, both in full bloom, in the same frame like this!

They are planted right by the kochia, so you can see the two different flowers together.

The Kochia Carnival

Hitachi Seaside Park's event-exclusive Kochia ice cream

Hitachi Seaside Park's event-exclusive kochia ice cream: photo courtesy @yumihr

At the same time that the kochias of Hitachi Seaside Park reach their season, the Kochia Carnival is held. During the carnival, many events are hosted to enhance your experience with the beautiful kochia field. The event-exclusive kochia ice cream can only be eaten during this time of the year, so make sure not to miss it! They are sold in a store at the top of Miharashi-no-Oka, and use red cranberry ice cream to emulate the bright red of the kochia plants.

The Changing Colors of Kochias through the Seasons

Kochia are planted every summer, between the end of June and the beginning of July. After being nurtured under the strong summer sun, the kochias slowly change their color as autumn approaches from green to red, then to gold. The seasonal change of kochias' color is another thing that adds to the appeal of the plants.

Kochia during the summer

The kochia of Hitachi Seaside Park in summer

Freshly planted kochia

In July, when the kochia have just been planted, they are still small, measuring around 15cm. By September, the plants will grow to as large as 80cm,

The kochia of Hitachi Seaside Park lit up at night

Hitachi Seaside Park's Kochia lit up at night

Every August, a special kochia light-up event is held. It was kicked off by the park's hopes that people will appreciate the beauty of lively, green summer kochias just as much as in the autumn.
Light-ups at Hitachi Seaside Park are exclusive to this season. To the rhythm of popular music from Walt Disney and Studio Ghibli films, approximately 30,000 kochias are illuminated colorfully in palettes that represent the sky, the sun, the earth, the sea, and passion.
To make the experience even better, during the nights that the kochia are lit up, fun night time-only events are held, and diverse food stalls are opened up!

Kochia in Late September

Hitachi Seaside Park's kochia changing color

The kochia of Hitachi Seaside Park gradually changing color.

Around late September, the kochias slowly begin to turn red. During this season, the kochia are green by the roots and red at the tips. This soft gradient of kochias is one that can only be seen during the transition between two seasons.

Kochia in late October

The Kochia turning gold in Hitachi Seaside Park in late October

The Kochia turning gold in Hitachi Seaside Park, in late October

In late October, the kochia begin to shift into a golden yellow shade. Make sure to catch the kochia plants in October, since they will get cut down as soon as November approaches.

The Autumn Kochia Calendar

Hitachi Seaside Park has an autumn kochia calendar on its official website. This calendar shows how Hitachi Seaside Park's kochias are blooming in the current year, as well as how they have bloomed over the past 10 years. This calendar is great for anybody who is unsure of when the best time is to visit Hitachi Seaside Park's kochias is.
You can check the Autumn Kochia Calendar here.

What Happens to the Kochia After their Season ends?

What happens once Kochia season is over, and the plants have been taken away? After being transported elsewhere, the plants are actually reborn as a whole new spectacle.
Around December every year, a giant field artwork measuring 22m by 36m is created in Hitachi Seaside Park. The artwork depicts the annual zodiac animal, and is created by using plant clippings taken from the park. Among these clippings are the Kochia plants! The picture can be seen in its entirety from the park's own grand ferris wheel.

There are events where you can participate in the making of this field art, so check Hitachi Seaside Park's official website for information!

Access to Hitachi Seaside Park

Nearest station: Kaihin-koen Nishiguchi Bus Stop

From Mito Station

【Mito Sta.】JR Joban Line / for Iwaki
→【Katsuta Sta.】Ibaraki Kotsu Bus / for Chuo-kenkyujo
→【Kaihin-koen Nishiguchi Bus Stop】→ about a 5-minute walk

From Tokyo Station

【Tokyo Sta.】JR Iwaki/Tokiwa Limited Express / for Mito
→【Katsuta Sta.】Ibaraki Kotsu Bus / for Chuo-kenkyujo
→【Kaihin-koen Nishiguchi Bus Stop】→ about a 5-minute walk

From Ibaraki Airport

【Ibaraki Airport Sta.】Airport Bus / for Hitachi-ota
→【Katsuta Sta.】Ibaraki Kotsu Bus / for Chuo-kenkyujo
→【Kaihin-koen Nishiguchi Bus Stop】→ about a 5-minute walk

Arrive Early through the West Entrance for the Best Experience!

A great number of tourists arrive at Miharashi-no-Oka during the kochia season in October. Make your way to Miharashi-no-Oka, and you might not even be able to move in the crowd! We advise that you arrive early just after the gates open to avoid the crowd, and enjoy the kochia fields at your own pace. The West Entrance named the "Tsubasa Gate" takes you to the closest point to Miharashi-no-Oka, also making your day a little bit easier.

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