The Fuji Shibazakura Festival is a breathtaking display of nature in all its glory.
We at Festival Sherpa take pride in introducing our readers to the weirdest, strangest and yet, unsung and underrated festivals from the shiftiest crevices of the world. Ergo, we love discovering new festivals, and we love enthusing about them to you. Here’s this week’s fix of quirky for you.
Every year, in the spring months of April and May, a part of the Fuji Five Lakes area is blanketed in blossoming shibazakura, in shades of pink, purple and white. Shibazakura, as ethereal as it looks, is simply a perennial of the family Polemoniaceae, and a species of phlox. This pink moss/phlox is native to North America and famous for the resemblance of its flowers to cherry blossoms. Over 800,000 stalks and six varieties of mountain phlox are seen at the festival annually, you can find out more about it here.
Tourists from all over the world visit the festival venue, south of Lake Motosuko, to take in this spectacular view. The festival updates weather and blooming conditions on their website regularly, so attendees can book resorts near the arena accordingly. Exceedingly picturesque, with pink landscapes as far as the eye can see and a backdrop of Mount Fuji, the Fuji Shibazakura Matsuri is very nature lover’s paradise, and a festival you don’t want to miss out on.
There are several shuttle busses that carry the attendees to the venue, along with organized tours that cover the festival. Apart from the breathtaking view, there are quaint cafes, shibazakura souvenirs and “panorama” foot-baths (soak your feet in hot water while enjoying one of the most beautiful sceneries in Japan) for attendees to indulge in, as well as the Mount Fuji Gourmet Festival, that coincides with Fuji Shibazakura during the end of May. The gourmet festival offers a wide range of original foods from Yamanashi Prefecture.
The best advised time to visit the festival is during mid-April, to avoid the overcrowded “Golden Week” at the end of May. If you’re planning to make a trip to Fuji, make sure you carry a camera, for this scenic place has an abundance of photographic opportunities. There are other places in the world that offer an expansive view of the shibazakura, but none with the setting of Mount Fuji surrounding it.