While most people associate spring with flowers, there are plenty of lovely blossoms blooming throughout autumn in Japan as well. My favorite of these are the mysterious, melancholy higanbana, also called red spider lilies.
This flower, of the amaryllis family, is the first fall flower to bloom, heralding in the season around the autumnal equinox. These cute little guys pop up all over the country in late September/early October, but in Tokyo you’ll likely only see them in random clumps.
To see fields of them in all their scarlet splendor, you have to get out of the city. One of the best places to view higanbana is in Kinchakuda Manjushage Park in Saitama.
Magical Fields of Red Spider Lilies
There are actually a few different places to see higanbana in Saitama, but the largest is Kinchakuda Manjushage Park, boasting over 500 million flowers. The park is arranged in a U-shape, with a meandering path through the riverside flower fields.
Thankfully, the park is quite shady, making an outing here comfortable despite the still high temperatures. We recommend seeing the flowers in the morning, after they’ve opened, and on a weekday if you can manage it. These magical fields are no secret, and can attract quite the crowd on the weekends!
There are a number of myths and stories associated with higanbana. Their bulbs are poisonous, and so they are often planted around rice paddies, rivers, and houses to keep pests away.
In addition, some Buddhists celebrate the arrival of fall with a ceremony at their ancestors’ tombs, and planted these flowers on graves to pay tribute to the dead.
(You can read the rest of the article at this link. This article was first published by Team JJ on April 16, 2022. Check here for deeper and unique insights into visiting Japan, including wellness, travel, cuisine and more. Find us on Instagram and on Facebook.)
Author: Team JJ