Sunday, 8 May 2016

御船山楽園 (Mifuneyama Rakuen)

Exactly one week ago, I headed to 御船山楽園 (Mifuneyama Rakuen) because it was Golden Week and I wanted to be able to say I went somewhere. And ok, because I saw this:

Image from the Official Site
So I figured, if I go a week before it's supposed to end, I should be fine, right?

Wrong!

But let me start from the beginning. The day started well, with me and my tickets:


One train ride, one bus ride, and one phone call from Huis ten Bosch later, I was finally at the entrance. Well, walking up to it, anyway.


This is the actual entrance to the park.


I guess my first clue that I missed the pretty flowers would be the fact that the entrance fee went down from 700 yen to 500 yen.

I love the painting on the ticket though! 
But despite the fact that everything was green, the place was still breathtaking:


Oh yeah, remember the first picture? The screenshot? This is what it looked like:


I can almost imagine it in the different colours. I bet it'd look beautiful. But sadly, the flowers bloomed early this year, so they fell early as well. Which means.... everything was green.  I did try to walk among the bushes, but I gave up because I couldn't really see a path. Instead, I decided to go and climb some steps, because I saw a sign pointing towards a flower-viewing platform.


And me being me, any time trees bend like this, I think of Enid Blyton and her characters living in nature. Not that I would like to do that, because I actually do like having toilets and running hot water, but I do get the urge to re-read her books.

Anyway, this is the view from the platform:


I actually really like the view of the valley, so I decided to try and zoom in and take another picture:


While I was leaving, I noticed a net all around the platform. I guess enough people have been dropping their things that this became necessary.


I also went to see some really old tree that was about 200 years old, but...


... it wasn't very impressive.

Unless I'm looking at the wrong tree? But this does have a sign in front of it and all that, so I'm inclined to think that it's the right tree. Hmm...

Oh, and apart from the already-green plants, the garden had some wisteria as well!


And the awesome thing was, one of the wisteria gardens was next to the rest station, so I got to eat a snack while admiring the flowers (and hoping the bees don't come closer)

My karaage mochi, which was SO GOOD. I wish I bought two. 

And the wisteria. 
Once I finished walking around, I decided to follow this path that looks a lot like a long long hopscotch:


Which led to a tea house, which was next to the exit. I did consider taking a second break here, but the view was just of the lake. I think it would be a lot more stunning in autumn, so I guess I shall have to wait until it's autumn and then come back again.


Getting here was a bit tricky, but it was well worth it. If you like parks and big green spaces (and you don't mind climbing up and down), this is a nice place to spend the day. But, there's only one restaurant, which is fairly pricy, and with a fairly limited menu, so unless you're willing to fill up on mochi and snacks from the different omiyage shops, you may want to buy some onigiri or bento in advance and bring them with you.

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