Spider Lilies in Fukuoka Bloom at Tsuzura Rice Terraces Field
Spider lilies in Fukuoka start to paint the scenery red, as the weather in Kyushu gets colder. One of the best spots to catch them is at Tsuzura Rice Terraces Field in Ukiha, Fukuoka from mid to late September.
What are Spider Lilies?
These scarlet beauties are also known as Manjushage and Higanbana in Japanese. It has several short flower stalks that kind of look like a fried blooming onion and it has a long green stem and leaves. Manjushage can grow to 24 inches long and it is said that it originally came from China, Korea, and Nepal.
In Japan, Higanbana symbolizes death. A long time ago, the Japanese put these flowers throughout burial grounds to thwart wild animals from eating the cadavers. It’s because the bulb of the Manjushage is known to be toxic. Nowadays, there’s no need to do that anymore, but Spider lilies are still used to drive away animals. However, this time it’s to protect crops and not corpses anymore.
Spider Lilies in Fukuoka
Manjushage thrives in rich and moist soil that is well-drained. Furthermore, it blooms more in a place with full sun to partial shade. Japan has a lot of spots where you can view a wide field full of Higanbana and one of those popular sights is Saitama’s Kinchakuda Majushage Park.
Spider lilies in Fukuoka, on the other hand, are not that great in volume unlike in Saitama. However, don’t be disappointed because there’s still a scenic place where you could see Spider lilies in Fukuoka and that is Tsuzura Rice Terraces.
NOTE: When I was looking for Spider lilies in Fukuoka, I had a hard time searching for them. Most of the places that were popping on my suggested pages were in Saitama, Gunma, and Fukuoka’s nearby prefectures. Hence, I looked for it in Japanese and Tsuzura Rice Terraces showed up.
What to Expect in Tsuzura Rice Terraces?
Tsuzura Rice Terraces is located in Ukiha— a place is known for growing various fruits all year round and a city adjacent to Oita Prefecture.
There are about 300 rice paddies in Tsuzura, which are enclosed by stone fences and ascends to the mountains. Furthermore, it is said that it was created 400 years ago and it’s included in Japan’s Top 100 Rice Terraces. Then, before autumn begins, approximately 500,000 Higanbanas sprout around the rice paddies, thus creating a unique photo-spot for Spider lilies in Fukuoka.
Basara Festival is also held during this period, where visitors could enjoy walking around the rice paddies, take pictures, watch the harvest, and enjoy food made by the locals.
NOTE: Because of COVID-19, this event is canceled but you could still visit Tsuzura Rice Terraces. At the time my husband and I paid visited this place, we saw the harvest and some visitors were having a simple picnic there.
In addition, Tsuzura is quite secluded, hence there aren’t any shops or convenient stores nearby. That’s why I highly suggest eating a meal before coming here or bring a snack and water.
Other Sightseeing Spots
Ukiha Inari Shrine
Aside from the Tsuzura Rice Terraces, Ukiha City is also known for Ukiha Inari Shrine’s 90 vermilion-colored torii (Japanese traditional gate of Shinto shrine) that goes up to the mountains. It may not be as popular or grandiose as Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari Shrine, but it’s less touristic. Therefore, it has a more serene vibe and you’ll be able to capture shots with fewer photobombers.
For those who are in love with Japanese traditional aesthetics, you are going to enjoy strolling around Yoshii Machi. Apart from houses made from wood, there are Dozo-zukuri (or earthen-wall style) in here. These are buildings that are white in color with greyish-black roofs and wooden doors and windows.
During the Meiji and Taisho period, Yoshii Machi was a booming merchant town. Now, it’s a place where you could see chic cafés and shops that sell antiques and handmade products.
Yoshii Machi is only 5 km away from Ukiha Inari Shrine.
There are no public buses that come here. But during the Basara Festival, there is a shuttle bus that picks up people from Ukiha Train Station to Tsuzura Rice Terraces. However, due to the pandemic, this was canceled so the easiest way to go here is by car.
There is a public toilet and parking.
The parking area is not very wide, so some cars just park on the side of the road that goes up to rice terraces. As much as possible, go to the designated parking area to avoid traffic.
Things to Remember
Tsuzura Rice Terraces is quite secluded. Thus, you might have a little trouble getting a phone signal, especially when you are driving back to the city. The GPS in your car may not also work, that’s why you need to be attentive on which road to take.
The road signs can be difficult to understand or there’s none at all. For those who are first-time drivers in this area, be careful, research, and use a map.
NOTE: Unfortunately, we got lost going back to Ukiha City from the rice terraces. When we were leaving Tsuzura, we didn’t use the road that we used to go there. The pathway at the rice terraces is quite narrow, hence the cars move in one direction.
My husband just followed the road and saw a sign that points to Ukiha City, so we took that road. After that sign, we couldn’t see any road markings anymore and our GPS stopped working.
We checked our phone, but there was no signal. We kept driving, look for signs, and even people to ask, but to no avail. After 20 minutes, we found a spot that gave us a signal and we were able to use Google Maps.
That moment was quite frustrating. We never thought that looking for Spider lilies in Fukuoka would “drive” us mad, LOL.
How about you? Have you seen a Manjushage or does it grown where you live? Comment down below!
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