Summer in Japan is referred as a season of colorful and lively festivals with blossoming flower fields, sample delicious in-season cuisine. If you are in Tokyo during this season, let join in the largest sunflower field within the prefecture for a day of fun amid the bright yellow hues of summer.
Kiyose Sunflower Festival (Kiyose Himawari Festival), which began in 2008, will be held for the 10th time this 2017 from 19 August to 3 September, from 9 AM to 4 PM. Preparations for the festival begin in late June annually whereby local primary school students plant sunflower seeds in a vast field spanning 24,000 square meters. As such, by the time the flowers bloom, you will find yourself surrounded by around 100,000 stalks of sunflowers which will be a grand sight to behold.
Truth be told, the sunflowers were not originally planted for aesthetic purposes. The field where the sunflowers are planted is actually agricultural land belonging to two farms, i.e. Ishii Farm and Kodera Farm, and is used to grow wheat. However, between the time when the wheat is harvested and the next seed planting activity, sunflowers are grown so that they become a source of natural fertilizers for the wheat crops. Thanks to the farms opening up the field to public access during this particular period, it has helped Kiyose develop its reputation for being a must-visit summer spot to see sunflowers in the Tokyo Metropolitan area.
What can you do at the festival?
Besides admiring the beautiful sunflower field for free, there are various activities and offers related to this festival which you may want to take note of:
For those who want to show their artistic flair, you may consider taking part in the photo or drawing competitions going on during the festival. Details on the competitions will have to be obtained by calling the Kiyose City Office at (042) 492-5111. Winners will be awarded their prizes during a ceremony held on 14 October 2017, while the winning works will be exhibited at the Lifelong Learning Center’s 5th floor between 14 October and 22 October 2017.
For those who are interested in local specialties, do head to the agricultural products fair where you can check out the best and freshest produce from nearby farms or buy cut sunflower stalks to bring home. As Kiyose is a well-known producer of carrots, there is a wide variety of carrot-related products here such as carrot jam, carrot shochu, carrot lotion, and carrot soap, which is bound to be an eye-opener for you!
For those into social media and have an Instagram account, be sure to follow the event’s official Instagram account in collaboration with Seibu Railway, and post a photo taken at the festival. Once you have done that, show this to the staff at the Hanasanpo Station where you will receive a limited edition souvenir only available during the festival days. Note that the availability of the souvenir is on a while-stocks-last basis.
If you would like to receive a specially-made memorabilia for this event, you should head to the Cheki photo-taking booth at the festival where 500 groups of visitors per day can get an instant photo taken for free between 10 AM and 3 PM. The photo will then be mounted onto the festival’s specially-designed cardboard for you to bring home as a memento. Note that if the weather conditions are not favorable, this activity may be canceled without prior notice. Again, the availability of this memento is on a while-stocks-last basis.
Last but not least, if you are heading to Mitsui Outlet Park in Iruma City, be sure to head to the information counter on the 1st floor of Forest Lounge. By presenting a photo taken at the festival and a receipt of your spending at Mitsui Outlet Park (no minimum spending required), you can get a RHODIA notebook with an orange or black cover. Note that there are only 400 of these notebooks and you will not be able to choose the color. Again, these are given on a first-come-first-served basis between 19 August and 10 September 2017 so this promotion may end earlier if the stocks run out.
If you want to discover more about festivals in Asia, please visit our website.
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