What is Nanohana?
When I say “springtime in Japan”, the first thing that probably comes to mind are cherry blossoms. While I too am a big fan of these beautiful trees (you can read here about the cherry blossoms in Fukuoka), today I’m going to introduce another special spring plant, nanohana! （菜の花）
Nanohana (also known as rapeseed or field mustard), is a bright, leafy-green vegetable that is a member of the cabbage family. Slightly bitter and with a similar taste to broccolini, this plant is often used in Japanese cooking. While nanohana plants grows over 1 meter in height, only the very tops are used in cooking. (This plant also becomes more bitter as it ages, so the best time to pick is before the bright yellow flowers have fully blossomed.)
Nanohana Field in Koga, Fukuoka
In the spring, large fields of nanohana can be found blooming all over Japan. Eager to frolic amongst the beautiful colors, I planned a trip to see some for myself. There are multiple nanohana locations around Fukuoka that you can visit, but the closest one to me was in Koga, Fukuoka. After a three mile walk, I arrived at the Koga Nanohana Field. With so many tall, blooming plants, it looked like I was surround by an ocean of yellow! As I stepped into the field (which was just off the road and open to the public), I could tune into the sound of bees buzzing around me and smell the powerful scent of blossoming flowers. (Maybe not the best place to visit if you have allergies).
I enjoyed the lovely view and took some silly photos because I couldn’t get enough of the blue sky and yellow flowers.
In the middle of the field, there were also flag poles with carp windsocks blowing in the breeze
I walked over 5 miles to see this nanohana field, but the exercise was well worth finding such a unique and picturesque location. Now I know that cherry blossoms AND nanohana are worth appreciating and visiting during Japan’s spring.
If you don’t have a car, be prepared for a bit of a walk as this field is located quite far from the nearest station. From Koga Station, it takes about 45 minutes to cover the 2 mile trip. Though far, the path is relatively easy and takes you through peaceful streets and strawberry farms.
If you are interested in other Fukuoka Day Trips, be sure to check out these posts!