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      Taking a step out onto the soft dirt path, and without even noticing you’re the tension escapes from your body and soul and you begin to relax.

             A warm summer zephyr dances through the thousands of leaves and petals before you, it tussles your hair and as you inhale it fills your lungs with crisp clean air.
Although only two hours away from the bustling capital of Tokyo, somehow where you stand you can’t help but feel it is as if time flows slowly here. And yet, it is all so fleeting.

Welcome to Hokuto City’s 28th Akeno Sunflower Festival. 

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   Beginning late July and coming to its end just less than a month after; in Northern Yamanashi Prefecture, Hokuto-city, Akeno-district lies the grounds of the Akeno Sunflower field.

   Even though the whole event only lasts a short span there is something ever so calming in the air. Although there were quite a group of people there, it didn’t seem overly crowded and at the larger field there was even a nice place to sit in the shade and look over at the seemingly endless field of yellow.

   Although the main goal of the small crowd gathered at the fields was to take the most insta-worthy photos that they could (and trust me, there were many); good pictures weren’t the only thing the fields had to offer.

   While the grounds offered food and drinks from a variety of vendors, ranging from a selection of very delicious smoothie’s, to freshly prepared mochi and even traditional Japanese skewered fish; I was interested in something a little different. Sunflower ice cream.

As a child back in America, one of my favorite snacks were the sunflower seeds you could buy at the corner store for a little more than a dollar. I wasn’t entirely sure how it would taste in ice cream form but I certainly couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

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Sunflower Ice Cream topped with sunflower seeds, available at the Main Venue for 350\.

   On this hot summer day, as we sat down in a small shaded area looking over at the thousands and thousands of tall sunflowers, our ears tuned to the gentle rustling of the sunflowers petals tussled by the wind.
   Two of the most calming sounds in the world to me, are the sounds of flowing water and gentle winds. Sitting here with the delicious sunflower treat in hand, I couldn’t help but pause and think to myself.
   I’m glad I came to Yamanashi.

P.S If you are anything like me and are deathly afraid of Bee’s, prepare to be slightly terrified because they are everywhere (I was too scared to bring the flowers up to my face). But despite that, I recommend this spot to everyone and will be going again next year for sure!

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< Information>
Time and Dates: (8am-5pm) July 20th~August 18th
Address: 5664 Asao, Akeno-cho, Hokuto City (北杜市明野町浅尾5664)
Entrance Fee: Entrance is Free, however, parking at one of Akeno’s 2 sparking lots is 500\ per car.

There are also a variety of events held during the flower festival so please check their home page for more information! ( )

Published on

  • October 4, 2019


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