Every year, approximately 800,000 Shibazakura, or “moss phlox”, grow each year at the base of Mount Fuji. This is more than anywhere else in the Greater Tokyo Region.
The Shibazakura bloom between the end of April and the beginning of June in small red, white, pink or purple blossoms. It is a creeper plant, covering the ground like a lawn, earning it the name of the “lawn cherry” or “shiba-zakura” in Japanese.
The Shibazakura Festival is annual festival commemorating the flowers’ bloom. The festival began on the 29th April, and is running till the 29th May, however the dates change annually depending on when the flowers bloom. The festival is one of the most popular in the country to see the Shibazakura, and attracts a large crowd. As a matter of fact, guests are encouraged not to come over the weekend and to try and arrive early in the mornings.
Attending the festival, is a lot like walking into paradise, be it a rather crowded one. In addition to strolling around the incredible flowery growth, and a great view of Mount Fuji, you can also buy your own Shibazakura pot or enjoy a wide range of local delicacies. The Shibazakura festival takes place at the same time as the Mt Fuji Delicious Foods Festival. The food festival is based in the park’s restaurant and shop area, as well as stalls around the park. The food stall section was expanded for this year’s festival, and includes items from all over the region. You can also buy souvenirs in stalls around the festival.
The whole festival takes about 60 to 90 minutes to walk through, but can take longer if it is very crowded. Make sure to plan your trip for a clear day when the flowers are in full bloom, avoid the first or last few days of the festival. Cloudy skies will limit your view of Mount Fuji, which would be a shame.