Photo: PIXTA/こたろう

Shimin no Mori: Where myth and flowers meet

By Elizabeth Sok

Planned as part of the centennial celebrations of the Meiji Restoration and opened in October 1971, Miyazaki City’s Shimin no Mori covers almost thirty hectares of the Awakigahara Forest Park. Divided into two large zones, this green space has plenty of attractions for flower lovers, history buffs and visitors of all ages.

Take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city and spend an afternoon enjoying a leisurely walk or bike ride through nature.

East Zone

A sea of water lilies Photo: PIXTA/ こたろう

From the East Entrance, one of the first areas that you’ll come across is Misogi Pond, a pond that is a must-see if you’re stopping by between May and September. During this time, about four thousand water lilies come into bloom which cover the surface of the water. Otherwise, the pond has the honor of being mentioned in the first known text about the history of Japan written in the 8th century. This pond and the nearby Eda Shrine play key roles in the birth of a trio of important Shinto deities, Amaterasu (the sun goddess), Tsukuyomi (the moon goddess) and Susano (god of the sea and storms).

Continuing towards the West Zone, families with children should make time to stop at the Kids Area and Adventure Playground, two parks that will entertain the little ones and provide adults a chance to take a break. Visitors planning a trip to Shimin no Mori in June will want to take a stroll through Hydrangea Path which flanks you with the quintessential flower of the rainy season.

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© GaijinPot

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