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5 Stunning Fall Flower Gardens in Kyushu

Celebrate some of Kyushu’s best autumn bloom-viewing spots in five gardens in five prefectures, all easily accessible via public transportation.

By 4 min read

Perhaps the sub-tropical island of Kyushu is not the first region in Japan you think of when you yearn for pristine autumn landscapes as the weather turns cooler. But even though true autumn weather in southwestern Japan only begins in mid-October, ample displays of fall leaves and flowers warrant a memorable trip.

These gardens are mostly known for their seasonal blossoms, like cosmos, which light up green spaces in yellow, white or various shades of pink—chrysanthemums, the ornate Japanese imperial and Buddhist symbol—fall roses, which bloom in a gorgeous array of colors; and ornamental sage with its delicate purple or scarlet flowers harmonizing with the hazy autumn skies.

Read on for five of Kyushu’s most beautiful flower gardens to visit in autumn.

Eco Park Minamata (Kumamoto)

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The autumn festival takes place from the end of October to mid-November.

Developed after the Minamata Disease disaster of the postwar years, Eco Park Minamata in southern Kumamoto prefecture strives to educate and entertain visitors with its abundant and beautiful natural landscape.

In addition to recreational facilities such as baseball fields, a track and field course and an extensive bamboo forest, this celebrated park also features the Rose Garden, which hosts the Minamata Rose Festa in the spring and fall.

Visitors should take advantage of the many photo opportunities available, including the 300-meter-long wall of roses, an archway adorned with rose vines and roses floating on the surface of a pond.

Hours: Open 24 hours
Admission: Free!
1 Chome-231-12 Shiomicho, Minamata, Kumamoto - Map
Take a local bus for 20 minutes from JR Shin-Minamata

Senganen Garden (Kagoshima)

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As Japan’s national flower, the chrysanthemum has a particularly special place within the country’s history and culture.

Built in 1658, Senganen is a traditional Japanese garden with Sakurajima, a towering active volcano, in the background and the beautiful Kinko Bay nearby. In addition to incorporating these two powerful natural landmarks into its aesthetic, this 12-acre garden also features shrines, ponds, streams and a hiking trail.

The floral highlight of Senganen is undoubtedly November’s Chrysanthemum Festival, which shines the spotlight on the 15,000 flowers that call the garden home. As the imperial family’s official crest and Japan’s national flower, the chrysanthemum has a particularly special place within the country’s history and culture.

Gardeners work six months preparing the chrysanthemums for the festival, ensuring they open on time and look their best. Explore the festival to catch an impressive taiko (Japanese drums) drumming performance against the backdrop of a mighty volcano and the national symbols in full bloom.

Hours: 9 A.M. – 5 P.M.
Admission: ¥1,000
9700-1 Yoshinocho, Kagoshima - Map
Take the Kagoshima City View Bus or Machi Meguro Bus and get off at Senganen Mae bus stop 

Nokonoshima Island Park (Fukuoka)

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Nokonoshima’s cosmos have two blooming periods.

Not too far from the hustle and bustle of Fukuoka City, you’ll find Nokonoshima Island Park, a green space packed with activities ranging from camping to pottery workshops and hundreds of thousands of flowers blooming throughout the year.

This fall, grab a ferry or bus from the city and walk through gorgeous fields of cosmos, ornamental sage and dahlias. Nokonoshima’s cosmos have two blooming periods: one from early to mid-October and the other from late October to early November, convenient for autumn travelers to Kyushu’s largest city who look forward to seeing a sea of pink and white set against the sea and sky.

In contrast to the short cycles of cosmos, ornamental sage, which bursts forth in intense red hues, has a much longer blooming period stretching from August to early December. At the park’s northern end, between the Goat Park and the Chicken Shed, upwards of 300,000 dahlias bloom on a hillside between mid-September and late October.

Hours: 9 A.M. – 5:30 P.M.
Admission: ¥1,200
Nokonoshima, Nishi Ward, Fukuoka - Map
From Meinohama Ferry Terminal, take a 10-minute ferry ride to Nokonoshima Ferry Terminal, then a short bus ride to the island park.

Huis Ten Bosch (Nagasaki)

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Autumn flowers set against a backdrop of Dutch style buildings.

Located in Sasebo, Nagasaki, Huis Ten Bosch is a theme park filled with recreated Dutch buildings, attractions for the whole family, including Adventure Park and Jurassic Island, special illuminations every season that light up the park at night and thousands of seasonal flowers.

From late October to mid-November, autumn roses take center stage at the park’s largest garden, the Art Garden. Stroll through this extensive area and walk through waterways and footbridges, all surrounded by colorful roses and their pleasant aromas.

Elsewhere, you’ll discover more seasonal blossoms, including cosmos and red and white petaled ficoidea, alongside several picturesque windmills on Flower Road from mid-September to late November. Shoppers browsing the Amsterdam City Passage will also find fall flowers, including chrysanthemums and dahlias arranged spectacularly on green walls.

Hours: 10 A.M. – 9 P.M.
Admission: ¥7,000
1-1 Sasebo, Nagasaki - Map
Take the limited express Huis Ten Bosch train from Hakata (1 hour 45 minutes)

Florante Miyazaki (Miyazaki)

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From late October to November, enjoy silver cock’s comb and cosmos.

A stunning botanical garden in Miyazaki City, Florante Miyazaki has a wide array of seasonal flower fun for the whole family. In particular, take advantage of the autumn roses on Rose Street and the twenty varieties on display in the Fall and Roses garden in front of a nostalgic western-style cottage.

From late October to November, enjoy silver cock’s comb and cosmos, while early October to early November brings both red and purple ornamental sage. Florante Miyazaki is also home to other seasonal specialties, like the Kabocha (pumpkin) King and Togarashi (hot pepper) Garden, filled with fall colors and flavors. For a creative photo spot, check out the Fall Flower Train, where autumn blooms are fashioned into the shape of a locomotive!

Hours: 9 A.M.–5 P.M.
Admission: ¥310
Hamayama-414-16 Yamasakicho, Miyazaki - Map
Take a 25-minute bus ride from JR Miyazaki station 
Have you visited any of these gardens in the fall? Is there another Kyushu gem that we missed? Let us know in the comments below! 

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