I'm excited to blog about my trip to Tambara Lavender Park which was really the highlight of my recent visit to Japan. I'm sorry it took me a while to blog, but I had to find time to unpack, sort out the photos etc. I just finished conducting a workshop and feel like spending some time now to sit down to write out this entry. :)
When I knew that I was going to be in Japan during the season when lavender is in full bloom, I knew I must visit the park. After finalizing the park visit details, I was excited beyond words. As you may know, I really adore flower / fruit farms a lot. The very thought that I can visit and see it with my own eyes alone is enough to set me in an excited mood for weeks. My mother was equally excited to visit as well. Initially when I asked my mom if she wanted to go, I was worried she might not want to as the bus journey is really long, but I think she really loves the nature too and this is a rare opportunity to be able to visit the park when the flowers are blooming.
The bus ride took about 3 hours. (Although it was broken up into roughly 1.5 hrs each time with a stop break in between) We set off early in the morning, 7:40am. Luckily, there was going to be a short break stop during the 3 hour journey, and one could get off the bus to stretch their legs, visit the toilet, buy snacks and drinks. Also, the place where we stopped for break is targeted for tourists to rest, so the place is huge. There is plenty of rest rooms, food stalls, and even a place to grab some local souvenirs.
The bus continued its journey as it entered the village where lots of fruit farms are situated. Most people grow their own vegetables in their garden. The lavender park is located on the mountains.
We were excited when we reached. The first thing that came to my mind as I got down the bus was "The wind up here is so cool and fresh!". Alongside with the wind, I smell lavender! Refreshing!
This is the main entrance of the lavender park, which you would enter the park if you came 'solo or in a family' (not in a tour group). We came with a group, so we entered from a side entrance instead.
Side entrance used for tour groups
Bear in mind, the lavendar park is UPSLOPE. Before I visited the park, I did some research and many has recommended the cable car ride as it saves time.
For me, I had to consider my mother and relatives who have difficulty walking up slope in a large park, so purchasing the cable car ride ticket for a one way trip was definitely the right decision! We did not regret it!
We didn't had to wait long for our turn to ride the ski, as the line for cable car ride was very short. (We visited the park on a weekday) I heard that it could take 30 minutes just to wait for the cable car ride on a weekend. The ride was so fun. We had never experienced it before, so all of us were excited and delighted when our turn came. I was enjoying the wind, the view of nature and the quietness of everything. It was refreshing and peaceful.
It was very sunny, but umbrellas were provided :)
The large lavender park welcoming us when we reached the end of the cable car ride. It is a beautiful sight!
I wanted to buy some souvenirs and was happy to grab a few lavender items! My mom was excited and happy to find a natural water stream that flows 8 degree celcius cold mountain water continuously. It was icy, but felt so good in this summer heat. It is recommended to bring a towel so you can wet it and enjoy the cold icy feel on your face a while longer!
Next on our list was to try the lavender ice cream! There is more than 1 ice cream stand in this park, so you can get your ice cream anywhere.
There are 3 choices available : Lavender, Milk Vanilla or Mix (combination of both Lavender and Milk Vanilla).
Left is the Mix; Right is the Lavender
It is really yummy....:) We shared the ice creams between the few of us. They melt so quickly in this heat!
After enjoying our ice cream, it was time to walk around and take more photos.
We slowly made our way down the slope while taking in the view again. The walk down slope is not tedious and it is enjoyable.
I don't know what are these flowers, but they are so pretty too.
A view from the up slope.
Before I went to the park, I didn't know there were more than one type of lavender plants, but now I know :)
After getting more souvenirs at the entrance/exit, I passed by another ice cream store again.
Another last shot of this nice mixed pansies flower decoration, before I head for the bus.
I made a few notes in case there are folks who are interested to visit this lavender park :
* Definitely buy the ticket for a one way cable car ride, as it saves time. (Especially if your visiting time is limited) If I remember correctly it was 700 Yen.
* Wear comfortable walking shoes when visiting the park.
* Do all your shopping at the end, near the entrance. There is a large souvenir shop near the entrance and it has the most variety of products.
* Bring a hat or cap. The wind is cool, but the sun is still scorching.
I know it sounds crazy, but given the opportunity (if I were to visit Japan in the same season where the park is open), I would visit it again. My mom said she would love to visit again. :)
In my next post, I will write a bit about my peach farm experience :)