Showa Kinen Park is home to the largest field of cosmos found in Tokyo, with over 5.5 million of cosmos, you can expect a spectacular view of the blooms in an expanse of rolling greens. The “Cosmos Festival” in the park is held annually from mid September to early November where cosmos of different colors bloom over the period. Besides cosmos-viewing, there are also a myriad of park activities which you can enjoy as a couple, and even if you are not an active couple, Showa Kinen Park is a colossal park where you can spend an entire day just strolling about and flower gazing.
There is a sense of idyllic calm when you reach the park even though it is just a 10 minute walk away from a popular residential district, Tachikawa station, for you can barely see any tall modern buildings around the area, making you feel like you are in a countryside. Lining the entrance to the park are rows of gingko trees on each side, which are a sight to behold in autumn when the leaves turn gold. The fountain within the park stands high and proud, visible even from afar as sparkling droplets of water flutter against a backdrop of green. While the park entrance may not exactly be low at 450 yen per person, it is worth the price just for its sheer size.
It takes a few hours of slow walk to reach the cosmos fields, and you will be distracted by the various sights and activities that abound. If you prefer, you can choose to rent a bicycle, or take the park train to get around the park. Yes, it is that big.
The Waterfowl Lake is the first major distraction you will come across, the tiny boats dotting the clear blue lake surrounded by the changing fall leaves make for a picturesque scenery. Take the opportunity to strengthen your couple bond by trying out boating together in this beautiful lake! There is nothing more like being so close together at an enclosed space amongst open waters that gives you a sense of a romance with a touch of adventure as you sneak a couple of kisses while navigating the waters. Just be careful not to tip the boat over! A piece of advice for you however, is that if you want to do boating and see the rest of the park all in a day, you should reach the park in the morning and start your activities at a leisurely pace, for boating will take up quite some time.
You will then walk past the Barbeque Garden which is highly popular with families, and the Rainbow Pool next to it that is open only in summer, and then you will reach an enormous open field where children play and couples picnic. The field, aptly named Everyone’s Field, is characterized by a large 100 year-old Japanese zelkova tree right in the middle of the field, providing ample shade for many.
It is at this field where you will catch your first sighting of cosmos flowers. Next to the field lie rows of brilliant yellow cosmos in the East Flower Field which are a cheery sight in the cold, crisp autumn.
Further down, you will reach the Flower Hill, where over 4 million of pink and white cosmos sway gently to the wind. The sight of the millions of cosmos blossoms sweeping across the wide fields will make you feel like you are in the middle of a hilly grassland rather than in a park.
The park also has an exquisite Japanese Garden, which is the largest Japanese garden I have come across in Tokyo. Centered around a pond, the traditional Japanese landscaping is exceedingly beautiful in autumn, with many benches and lovely traditional structures around the garden where you can stop and rest while admiring the poetic scenery.
One of the traditional structures is the “Kanfu-tei”, a tea house where you can enjoy sipping a cup of Japanese tea and sweets surrounded by a glorious view of red maple leaves hanging over glittering waters. Tea ceremony is held once a month in the tea ceremony room “Koma Houshun”, so if you are lucky you might be able to learn the art of tea preparation together!
While cosmos might be the main draw to the park in autumn, Showa Kinen Park is a park where you can admire changing seasonal blooms all year round, with soft cherry blossoms and rainbows of tulips in spring, golden sunflowers in summer, and boldly colored cosmos in fall. And with a plethora of couple-oriented activities to engage in within the park, it is a perfect spot for a romantic flower date.