Spectacular Yokohama Flowers

A spring walk through Bay Area parks

Now that the cherry blossoms are almost gone, the next stage of spring for Yokohama is the tulips, pansies, gladiolas, and various other flowers. For the next six to eight months there will be a continuous parade of blossoming flowers, bushes, and trees.

Our walk today began just beyond Kannai station to Yokohama Park, the first Western-style park in Japan. It includes Yokohama Stadium, where the Bay Stars professional baseball team plays, a Japanese garden and every spring the Tulip Festival. With 160,000 tulips consisting of 49 varieties, the park is filled with bright and beautiful colors. This was my third year to attend and it seems each year they outdo the previous. The cameras were out and pictures were being shot in every direction. There was a homeless man asleep on the ground covered with a floral designed blanket that made it look like he was part of the display. People were walking their dogs, children were posing for pictures, and the food vendors were actively preparing sumptuous treats. No matter which direction you looked something was happening. I shot several hundred photos and then we headed over to Osanbashi Pier to take pictures of the bay area and the ships in port.

A short walk from the pier is Yamashita Park. Today the spring flowers were in every area. In another week or two we will see the rose garden at full bloom. It was a typical weekend with hundreds of families out enjoying the scenery. To add to the masses we had three cruise ships in port, making it a very festive active day.

At the other end of the park is a 600-meter walk to Harbor View Park. The floral arrangements were different and even some of the tulips were unique. The walk up the steps was healthy exercise, at the top we were rewarded with an excellent clear view of the Bay Bridge and the city skyline.

We timed our walk so that at lunch we ended up at our favorite Chinatown knife cut noodle restaurant. (麺王翔記 Men-ou-shoki) It is just outside the Chinatown gate at 79 Yamashita-cho, We have been eating here for almost three years and always the same spicy Tan-tan bowl. The owner Raicho M stands behind a glass partition and slices the noodles into a large vat of boiling water. It is fun to watch the preparation and even better to eat the delicious results. The prices are very reasonable and the on-tap Asahi beer is only 298 yen a glass.

With full stomachs we walked back to Yokohama Park and it was almost game time in the stadium with so many people we had to slow walk to Kannai Station. Sure glad we were able to take our pictures earlier when it was just hundreds and not thousands of people.

Your trip to Japan must include time in our beautiful city with its many colorful parks. I am sure there will be something in bloom to feast your eyes on.


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