The Japanese like to view, “Sakura,” which means, “Cherry Blossoms.” There are many great places in Japan for people to view them. Some people use the word “Sakura” for other types of blooming flowers. The “Shiba Zakura” is one, this flower is actually Phlox subulata. “Shiba Zakura” originally came from Eastern and Central America and the flowers have a variety of colors-light pink, red, light purple and blue. The plant grows 5 tiny flower petals between 15cm to 50cm wide. The branches are dense which makes the ground covered with evergreen leaves the entire year. The plant is an idea lawn plant because it blooms well in both cold and dry climates.
One of the most famous places for “Shiba Zakura” is at “Hitsuji-yama” park in Chichibu city in Saitama Prefecture. The various colored flowers create a lovely flower carpet during blooming season. “Chichibu” is located northeast of Tokyo and can be reached in 1 and a half hours by an express train. Many people from Tokyo and its suburbs come to enjoy this fantastic colorful flower carpet. “Chichibu” is also famous for hiking and river rafting.
“Chichibu,” a temple town and historic region is home to a large copper deposit that produced the first Japanese minted copper coin, “Wado-Kaiho.” The city initially planted “Shiba Zakura” trees around the year 2000 and now has over 40 million colorful Phlox subulata creating different flowering designs and pictures. The “Shiba Zakura” area is about 17,600 square meter, with 9 varietals flower types and approximately 40 million plants create a beautiful flower carpet early from April to early May.
What a great experience you can have during the springtime visiting “Chichibu.”
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