Everyone rejoice because spring is here! Every year around mid-March, spring’s arrival is announced by a dainty, daisy-like flower called fukujuso, which is the first wildflower to bloom in the area.
In English, fukujuso (Adonis amurensis) is sometimes called amur adonis or amur peasant’s eye. It is a yellow gem that is often found in woodland habitats and pops its head up even through the snow.
In the Shiga area of northeastern Matsumoto, you’ll find a unique spot where the fukujuso has grown into a huge colony estimated to consist of 500,000 flowers.
Here, the blooms grown on a hillside spotted with trees. Fields and rice paddies cover the valley below and tall mountains rise up in the backdrop. When they are in full bloom, the entire hill is painted in gold yellow.
As mentioned in our March events, to celebrate the coming of the fukujuso blooms, the community here throws a little festival every year during the fukujuso season where you can walk around the flowery hillside and even grab some Japanese festival food or local goodies. This year the festival runs from March 10 to March 21.
I went last weekend, but the fukujuso weren’t quite in full bloom yet, due to the colder weather this year. But, with all the warm weather this week, they flowers are going to put on a full show by this weekend! Go check them out if you have the chance.
If you have a car, it only takes 25 to 30 minutes to drive from central Matsumoto. You can also take the Shiga Line bus from Matsumoto Bus Terminal (it runs infrequently, so make sure you check the schedule) to the the Kasekikan (Shiga Fossil Museum) Bus Stop. It’s a 10-minute walk from there. (You can see the bus schedule here, but it’s only available in Japanese)
While you’re at it, enjoy the beautiful countryside scenery and the mountains. I also recommend checking out the Shiga Fossil Museum, as it is filled with all sorts of interesting, fossilized goodies (including a whale skeleton!).
Here is the location of the fukujuso area: