Although it is a bit of a challenge to reach, the Gunma Flower Park located in Maebashi City is definitely worth visiting. Located on the south side of Mount Akagi, the park is home to spacious flower beds, five greenhouses, an event hall, a petting zoo and play areas for small children. There is also an English Garden, a Rock Garden and a Rose Garden and the flowers are in bloom throughout the year.
Upon entering the park, you will notice an area called Flatopia. Here various flowers are planted in an intricate pattern and the types of flowers change throughout the year depending on the season. You can climb the Park Tower and gaze out across the Kanto plain and if the weather is clear, get a glimpse of Mount Fuji. A little further away is the Ajisai-en (Hydrangea Garden). Here you will find approximately 3,000 hydrangea bushes of various colors. The Hydrangea Garden is surrounded by the English Garden, the Rock Garden, the Walkway featuring various herbs and the Rose Garden with about 130 varieties of roses.
Gunma tends to get quite a bit of snowfall during the winter but you can still visit the garden during the winter months. There are five individual greenhouses with a variety of tropical plants, begonias, cacti and orchids on display.
The park hosts various events throughout the year such as Hawaiian Day and a winter illumination event that rivals any other illumination event in Tokyo.
Walking through the park, you tend to work up an appetite. There are four restaurants (Restaurant Hana Mizuki, Clover Fast Food, Poppy Fast Food and Sakura Soba) serving everything from soba (buckwheat noodles) to soft serve ice cream. Or if you are so inclined, try the dahlia tempura.
For those not wanting to expend the energy walking, especially during the hot Japanese summers, there is a train that transports visitors around the park.
The Gunma Flower Park is open seven days a week and a joy to visit throughout the year. The park hours are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (March – November) and 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM (December – February). The park hours are extended until 9:00 PM from October 31 to January 11.
The park is accessible via the JR Ryomo Line (Maebashi Station) but the recommended way to visit the park is by car. Once you disembark the train, you have to travel another 30 minutes to reach the park. There is a parking lot at the flower park which can accommodate up to 500 cars.
Web page: http://www.flower-park.jp/
Address: 2471-7 Kashiwagura-machi, Maebashi, Gunma 371-0246 Japan