Story A Great Day Out with the Family
Seasonal Attractions at Sanukimannopark
By JNTO On June 14 2021

Kagawa may be the smallest prefecture in Japan, but it’s home to popular destinations like the hilltop Kotohira Shrine, which is dedicated to seafarers and accessible via a 785-step climb. There is also the gorgeous beach of Chichibugahama with its reflective water and the mysterious Iya Valley which is characterised by steep mountain slopes and deep rocky gorges traditionally crossed by vine bridges. 

 

Not far away is another one of Kagawa’s attractions: the Sanukimannopark. It is the only nationally-operated park in Shikoku, and is located on the edges of Manno-ike Reservoir, Japan’s largest reservoir. This park is vast – at 350 hectares, it boasts plenty of different things to enjoy, from flower gardens and playgrounds to experiential zones and cycling courses. 

 

 

No matter which period of the year you head to Sanukimannopark, there’s no shortage of magnificent sights, making it an ideal place to take amazing photographs or enjoy a picnic. Depending on the season, you’ll get to see a different variety of colourful flowers and enjoy other seasonal activities in tandem. In winter, it hosts the largest illumination event in Shikoku. 

 

Spring 

In spring (late March to early May), the Haru Ranman Festa boasts an incredible number of blooming flowers in various parts of the park. From March to mid-April, the park is carpeted by almost half a million blooms of flowers like narcissus and tulips, which carpet the hills in warm shades of reds, pinks, and oranges. The blooms of nemophilas take over after mid-April with their baby-blue hues. The park also have other popular flowers like cherry blossoms and irises. 

 

 

What’s amazing is that the flowers bloom one after another, starting with the narcissus in March, and ending with irises in May.  

 

Summer 

From mid to late June, the Ajisai Festa sees beautiful blooms of hydrangeas. The best place to catch the sea of blue-purple flowers is from the wooden bridge across Hiryu Pond in the Hydrangea Garden. You can rent a Japanese-style umbrella free of charge at the park. They’re not only for rain protection, but also make for photogenic props against the gorgeous landscape of hydrangeas. 

 

 

From mid-July to mid-August, the Summer Festa focuses on sunflowers and kochia (summer cypress) – the latter’s fluffy, green foliage will be illuminated at night in mid-August. 

 

In the summer, a water playground is opened and there are outdoor activities such as insect classes. In addition, Monster Bash, a large-scale music festival featuring some of the best bands in Japan, will be held in the park at the late of August. 

 

Autumn 

The autumn Aki Irodori Festa (mid-September to late November), displays carpets of colourful cosmos flowers which bloom in different colours like yellow and pink. You can view them in Ryuzu village near the Shoryu Waterfall and along Hanaryu Road. 

 

 

In addition, the green kochia bushes will have turned into a radiant red hue from late September, resembling balls of fire. Meanwhile in the forests surrounding the park, the maple trees will showcase an autumnal foliage of reds and yellows. Head to Sanuki Woods, where you can get to participate in the autumn activity of mushroom picking. 

 

Winter 

By winter (late November to early January), the park becomes home to the largest winter illumination event in the region! The Winter Fantasy happens when the park opens till late at night and the grounds transform into a fantastical world of Instagram-worthy illuminated art.  

 

 

The vast grounds will be brought to life by 600,000 LED bulbs, and the theme of the design changes every year. Since the park is surrounded by mountains – there’s no light pollution from nearby urban areas – you’ll get to enjoy a brilliant night scenery. 

Another highlight is the 5m high champagne glass tower made of about 5,000 glasses and the 10m high symbol tree! 

 

Other highlights 

Sanukimannopark is more than just about flowers – the vast park is home to cycling routes, various playgrounds, forests, as well as a cultural zone that offers hands-on traditional Japanese experiences. It’s definitely a great place for families to visit, whether it’s to enjoy the playgrounds, partake in cultural activities, having a picnic, or simply to admire the seasonal flowers. 

 

 

Sanukimannopark 

Address: 4243-12 Yoshino, Manno, Nakatado County, Kagawa Prefecture 

Hours: 9:30am to 5pm (closed every Tuesdays unless it’s a public holiday varies by season) 

Entrance Fee: 450 yen/adult (500 yen for 2-day pass) 

Parking Fee: Ordinary car 320 yen 

Website: Official Website 

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