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Saraki Cape Tulip Garden

HOME > Japan’s Local Treasures > Saraki Cape Tulip Garden

 

Thousands of tulips commemorate one of Japan’s most famous shipwrecks

Kikonai Town Tourism Association

 

 

See around 60 species of tulips every May when over 50,000 brightly colored tulips bloom in the Saraki Cape Tulip Garden in Kikonai, a small town on the tip of the Oshima Peninsula in southern Hokkaido.

 

The tulip garden, with a Dutch windmill and replica of a historic ship, commemorates a momentous event in the town’s history. In 1871, the Dutch-built Japanese warship the Kanrin Maru (1856) shipwrecked off the coast of Kikonai. For the Japanese, the Kanrin Maru may just actually be the nation's most famous ship. It is one of the few ships mentioned by name in children's history books. The Kanrin Marus fame derives from its voyage across the Pacific Ocean to the USA in 1860, the first Japanese diplomatic mission to the USA. In its final years, the ship was used as a transport ship to transfer settlers to Hokkaido. In the night of 19 September 1871, the ship carrying 400 passengers and 100 crew crashed onto the rocks of Cape Saraki. The villagers sprang into action and managed to save all 400 passengers (some say 401 passengers as a pregnant lady gave birth soon after being rescued!). To this day it remains a great source of pride for the local community.

 

Walk to the top of the small hill in the park for spectacular views of Tsugaru Straits, Mount Hakodate, and even the Shimokita Peninsula in Aomori Prefecture at the top of Japan’s main island of Honshu.

 

How to get there

 

From Hakodate Airport, take the Hakodate Airport Bus to Hakodate Station. From Hakodate Station, take the South Hokkaido Railway 1 hour to JR Kikonai Station. Saraki Cape Tulip Garden is 10 minutes by car from the station.

 

 

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