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Kinchakuda Red Spider Lily Festival: A Sea of Crimson Near Tokyo
The Kinchakuda Red Spider Lily Festival is held every year from mid to the end of September in Hidaka, a city near Tokyo. We introduce the highlights of the event and how to get there.
Red Spider Lillies: The Pride of Saitama's Hidaka City
Photo by Pixta
As soon as the summer heat mellows out in Japan, people are waiting for the beautiful colors of fall. However, the first crimson red landscapes of the year are not created by fall leaves but by a special version of a unique flower, the red spider lily. The red version of the usually white flower originated in China, Korea, and Nepal and spread to Japan from there.
Kinchakuda Manjushage Park, located in Hidaka City near Tokyo, is especially famous for its spider lilies, which are called manjushage or higanbana in Japanese.
The spider lilies begin to bloom here around mid-September marking the start of the park's famous Kinchakuda Red Spider Lily Festival.
In 2023, the Kinchakuda Red Spider Lily Festival is being held between September 16 and October 1. The admission fee is 500 yen. There are also food stalls and booths handling souvenirs. Read on to learn the highlights of the festival.
Kinchakuda Red Spider Lily Festival: View 5 Million Flaming Red Flowers!
The Kinchakuda Red Spider Lily Festival is an annual event held in the city of Hidaka and popular with people from all over Japan. With 5,000,000 red spider lilies, it offers the largest display in the country.
The red spider lilies of Kinchakuda are not manually planted but were actually discovered growing wild along the Koma River. It is believed that the river itself carried the flower seeds to this area.
The flowers against the backdrop of the flowing water are a truly stunning display of nature.
The carpet of spider lilies grows underneath shadowy trees while the river flows through an open area glittering in the sun. It evokes the scenery of autumn and summer meeting at a sacred place, bowing to the beauty of each other.
The main display of flowers itself is located in an area that requires an entrance fee of 500 yen but it is truly worth the small fee.
Once you enter the area, the glowing red flowers seem neverending. In 2023, the blooming peak is expected to be around the end of September.
In some areas, white spider lilies lace in with the red ones. The combination of the two is particularly rare and beautiful.
Please Don't Touch the Red Spider Lilies
Spider lilies are beautiful, but please be aware that they are poisonous. While touching them might only cause rashes in adults (unless you are allergic), the results can be far more severe in children and pets.
It would be advised to keep holding your child's hand when visiting and talk to them about "not touching the flowers" beforehand. It's allowed to bring dogs into the area but please make sure they are not getting too close to the flowers.
The Chestnut Festival - Savor Local Food and Drinks
The Kinchakuda Red Spider Lily Festival area also has a small festival space offering local food, snacks, and drinks.
Kinchakuda is famous for its chestnuts, which are in season around the same time the spider lilies bloom.
If you want to try some local food, this is the perfect place. There are also local sake and tea available. These make great souvenirs, too.
Kinchakuda Red Spider Lily Festival - How to Get There
The Kinchakuda Red Spider Lily Festival is easy to reach from Tokyo by train. It will take about one hour to one hour and a half.
Musashi Yokote Station or Koma Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line are the closest stations. It will take about 15 minutes to walk from there. Pamphlets are given out in front of Koma Station for visitors to find their way around the area.
In fact, you'll be able to see many people walking toward the Kinchakuda Red Spider Lily Festival at all times so you can simply follow them as well. The area leading to the festival area is very calm and beautiful and you will find spider lilies and chestnut trees lining the trail.
Get an Early Glimpse of Autumn at the Kinchakuda Red Spider Lily Festival
Although famous among the locals, the red spider lilies of Saitama are one of the lesser-known sights to visitors from outside the Tokyo area. These flowers truly have something magical about them and their color puts you in the right mood for autumn.
Make sure to visit the Kinchakuda Red Spider Lily Festival if you are in the Tokyo or Saitama area in September!
I was born and raised in Berlin, Germany and am living in Tokyo, Japan since 2008. I am native in German and English. I am a cat-mom to three rescue cats and I have a deep love for 90s rock music, kickboxing, history, chocolate and cookie dough, anything pistachio flavored, cats and bats, dragons and vampires and all things creepy-cute. My favorite book author is Anne Rice. My favorite band is LUNA SEA. My most recommended Japanese movie is 'Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence', featuring David Bowie and Ryuichi Sakamoto.