Azumayama is a small mountain located in a little town called Ninomiya along the coast of Kanagawa prefecture. The mountain is within walking distance from JR Ninomiya Station, and attracts many people for hiking and also to witness the colorful seasonal flowers. During the winter time in January and February there are many rapeseed blossoms creating a beautiful yellow flower carpet, which makes an ideal location for all ages to enjoy a hike and a picnic on a sunny winter day.
Let’s hike Azumayama!
Hiking up Azumayama is easy, as it only takes an adult about 15 to 20 minutes to make it up to the summit from the JP Ninomiya station route. For quite a while it has also been a popular hike for the neighboring cities’ kindergarten day trip destinations. Most people start hiking Azumayama near the station route, but you can also start from other routes, which can be slightly longer. Regardless of the route, it is an easy hike for everyone, and continues to increase in popularity each year.
Azumayama is for everyone
With recent years’ media exposure, Azumayama attracts people even during weekdays. On any given sunny winter day, you will be surprised to see many hikers from the station to the summit with big cameras, or even a canvas ready to recreate the beauty of the flourishing rapeseed blossoms. In general, during weekdays, you see many elderly people in groups proceeding up Azumayama, and during weekends you see many families along with their children who have big smiles on their faces. Because this mountain attracts a wide range of age groups, including the elderly, there are handrails along the stairs of the trails to help avoid people from falling. So, there is no need to worry about your fitness level as this trail accommodates everyone.
A yellow carpet of rapeseed blossoms
During January and February, once you hike up to the summit, you will be greeted by a natural yellow carpet of rapeseed blossom. On a clear day, the color of rapeseed blossoms looks even more vivid against the background of the blue sky. You’ll definitely want to use your camera or smartphone to capture this beautiful moment. As well as those taking pictures, you’ll also see artists drawing, or painting, this beautiful scenery onto their canvas, along with many others sitting down to enjoy a picnic. At the summit, there is a large open space where you can sit down and just relax on any given beautiful day.
Greeted by Mt. Fuji, snowcapped in the background
What makes Azumayama even more special, is how impressive the view of Mt. Fuji is from the summit of this mountain. If you visit Azumayama on a clear day, you will see Mt. Fuji right in front of you. The size of Mt. Fuji is enormous from this spot, and the view of rapeseed blossoms, the blue sky, and this incredible mountain is simply breathtaking. Unfortunately, this photograph does not do any justice of how beautiful the Mt. Fuji spot Azumayama is with bare eyes, but this makes it definitely worth your time to visit. Azumayama is thus a popular spot for the locals to see the sunrise on New Year’s Day every year as well. Unfortunately, if it is not a sunny day, the view will not be so spectacular so you may want to check the weather accordingly before starting your adventure.
Seasonal flowers at Azumayama
Currently there is rapeseed blossom festival taking place until February 14th, 2016 Now until the end of February is the ideal time to view these decorative flowers, so if you are visiting this area, definitely mark your calendar for a visit soon! Though, if you are not visiting now, do not worry! In March, Azumayama has beautiful cherry blossoms which would also be a great time to visit. Regardless of the time of the visit, on a sunny day, the view of Mt. Fuji is impressive from this location making it worth your time.
Take a mini trip to the Shonan area!
Ninomiya is a small town, so you will barely see any international tourists. Though, viewing the colorful rapeseed blossoms here has become increasingly popular for many Japanese people in the recent years, so why not explore something the locals enjoy? If you are traveling to Hakone, it might be a great addition to do a small hike to Azumayama where you can see beautiful seasonal flowers and Mt. Fuji in the distance. If not Hakone, you can also visit Odawara Castle after hiking Azumayama, so there are few things you can do if you take a mini trip of out Tokyo during your visit to Japan. It would be a great spot to visit for those who enjoy photography and flowers.
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