On a weekend in June, I visited the Flower Park in Ishioka. As the name suggests, the park has many flowers, the large majority are roses. According to their website, there are 800 varieties on 30,000 rose stocks (is it called “stocks”?).
The park was well visited on that day but I could find a place on the parking lot, which is located close to the entrance gate. The entrance fee is rather high, 740 Yen for an adult. Many museums or temples in Tokyo or Kyoto are cheapter than that… But I guess it is expensive to care for the plants and this park might not get much funding from the government (I am hypothesizing here…). Close to the entrance is the visitor center (来園者 センター = らいえんしゃセンタ). Many rose-related products are on display, such as skin care, and goods with rose design etc. You can also buy food and icecream and there are vending machines for drinks as well.
The garden is quite nice, the amount of roses is impressive. It is fun to walk on the paths and discover unusual colors and read the name of some varieties. For example, a pink-orange rose had the name Disneyland Rose (ディズニーランド) – depicted on top of the article – , certainly a suitable name for this bright, a bit kitschy color. This rose is rather new, it was first bred in 2003 in the US (source), but it made already its way to Japan.
There are also some greenhousees, which contained other flowers. The largest greenhouse is called the “flowerdome”, but I don’t remember much of it. I am not sure, but it might have been closed on that day? Or it just did not leave much impression on me.
The roses are mostly in the sunny part of the park. The opposite part is on a hill and between the trees, there are Iris (シャガ = Iris japonica), Lilies (やまゆり = golden-rayed lily) and hydrangea (アジサイ).
If flowers aren’t enough for you, you can enjoy the toboggan (花のすべり台) for 400 Yen or the flowercycle (フラワーサイクル), where you can pedal small carts on elevated tracks, for 300 Yen. I did neither of them, they seem to be aimed more for children and are, on top of that, rather expensive.
The garden is not very big, I would say an hour is sufficient to see everything, counting small breaks for taking pictures of the beautiful roses and trying to read their names, resting and enjoying maybe an icecream :D.
Address: 茨城県フラワーパーク 〒315-0153 茨城県石岡市下青柳200番地 (200 Shimoaoyagi, Ishioka, Ibaraki ken 315-0153)
How to get there: you should get there by car, it is a ~25min drive from Tsukuba center
Who should visit? I recommend this park to Tsukuba residents who like flowers and are willing to pay the high entrance fee.
Have you visited the Flower Park? How did you like it? Which variety name did you remember?