HITACHI SEASIDE PARK
Finding nature in Tokyo is a lot harder than I expected. Don't get me wrong, there are many beautiful places throughout Japan but they are all like 6-11 hours away and that is much more expensive than we anticipated. Growing up in California I have become so used to just driving up to Yosemite or Big Sur for the weekend or Joshua Tree for the day or Malibu for lunch, unfortunately Tokyo doesn't have many spots like that. But we are on a mission to find as many pretty places as we possibly can, the Hitachi Seaside Park being one of them. We were very lucky to move here during the peak season of spring, every flower in Japan seems to be blooming around us. This park in particular literally is only in bloom from late April to mid May, that is an extremely short window to see something! So as you can imagine, during late April to mid May there are like a million people there. Everyone is pretty respectful of people taking pictures though, they are very patient and wait for you to take the shot, and then they line up to take the same picture you just took. When Jerry would be a couple yards away from me taking my photo there would be about 5 people behind him taking a photo of me too. It got a little awkward after awhile, they would even ask Jerry what his settings were so they could take the same shot.
Anyways, this spot is very easy to get to from the Tokyo on the JR line. We some how got on the train for half the price, I guess that's the benefit of not being able to read the signs. I would strongly suggest visiting during Late April so you can see the tulips as well! You can take a bus from the station to Hitachi for $12, and that included admission to the park as well. So if you are planning your Japan trip for next year, be sure to add this to the list!