Magical Kochia Hill in Hitachinaka

Hitachinaka (ひたちなか市 Hitachinaka-shi) city is located in Ibaraki Prefecture, in the northern Kantō region of Japan. It is a hiragana city, a place whose name is written with hiragana syllabary as opposed to other cities that are written in the traditional kanji.

Kochia. | Border. garaku

The towns of Minato and Hiraiso and the village of Katsuta are within the Naka District. The  municipalities system was established on April 1, 1889. Minato was renamed Nakaminato in 1938 while Katsuta was made into a town in 1940. During World War II, the area experienced heavy air raids and shelling by Allied warships because of the many factories nearby that produced war-related materials. On March 31, 1954, the towns of Hiraiso and nakaminato merged to form the city of Nakaminato and Katsuta became a city that same year. On November 1, 1994, Nakaminato and Katsuta yet again merged to form the city of Hitachinaka.

One of the unique places to visit in Hitachinaka is Hitachi Seaside Park. The park is right next to Ajigaura Beach, a popular tourist destination for nature lovers. The park spans an area of eight acres with flowers that bloom with bursts of color all year round.

Green kochia. | kobaken++

During autumn each year, the park becomes extra special when the thousands of Kochia bushes turn crimson red on Miharashi no oka (Lookout Hill). Kochia are a type of large herb that grow in bushes about 90 centimeters tall. The rest of the year the bushes are green; in late September they begin to change color to deep red.

The beautiful display of color is such a spectacle that many visitors flock to see Kochia Hill in September and October. The Kochia Carnival highlights the colors of fall.  People can frolic amongst the 36,000 red Kochia bushes and millions of cosmos flowers that also bloom around the same time the Kochia turns red.

Kochia in Hatachi Seaside Park. | Border. garaku

The cosmos flowers come in several colors ,which makes the sight even more breathtaking. For visitors coming from the Tokyo area, there are also direct buses from Asakusa and Ueno Stations that go to the entrance at Kaihin Kouen Iriguchi (海浜公園入口) bus stop.