Takino Suzuran: Flower Beds and Children’s Haven!
Takino Suzuran Hillside National Park, located in Takino Hills just to the south of Sapporo, is one of the most beautiful parks in Hokkaido. Unlike other parks, this is the only government national park within Hokkaido. The park spreads across 395.7 hectares which is a really large area and is divided into many sub-purposes. You can get here by Takino bus line (no. 104) from Makomanai Subway Station, or you can drive by car around 50 minutes from central Sapporo. The picturesque way to getting here is amazing too, with many hills and trees all along.
Entering the park, the fee is around 400 yen and you get a discount if you are accompanied by a senior citizen. Beyond the entrance, you will be greeted by beds of flowers. Immediately, a rush of excitement infiltrates you and you cannot wait to get closer to the flower fields. Flowers as far as your vision gets you, it’s so beautiful that you just stand there and can’t stop staring. Not just flowers in the fields there’s also flowers in the square pots, specific flowers that are rare, or from other countries, and others that are only grown in Japan.
You keep walking from the entrance to the top of the hill, enjoying the last flower fields. On your right hand side you can get to another exciting part of the park, the children’s valley!
Just because you are not a child anymore, or you didn’t bring your children with you, that doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy this part of the park! At the entrance of the children’s valley, to the right is a red tower. It is supposed to be a termite’s nest (yes, a termite nest could be that high in real life), but this one is an artificial one. You can get in and get up through the tower. You can view the whole valley on the top. After that, why bother walking down when you can take the slides.
As you can see from the photos above, there is a hill on the north side of the valley. Why not take a walk to the top of the hill to get a better view. The hike above is also a very friendly one, with shortcuts and small playground for kids to stop by. At the bottom of this vast green hill are children and parents playing with red bouncy balls. A small note from my experience, while walking to the top, I noticed this kid (in the photo below) who was so persistent in pushing his red ball to the top while other children didn’t even try to make an effort.
Once you are at the top, (the kid also reached the top, congrats!) you are near an observation tower. This is an actual building, not something artificial. You can view most of the mountains and hills surrounding the park with the observation telescope therein.
Going down the hill, you can join the kids and parents by getting the red ball for free. Try to bounce it, kick it, and lie on it with your friends/family, all this while the sun is shining and there is soft grass beneath your feet.
This park is basically the right place for you to go out in the sun, enjoy the beautiful views of flowers, experience the spring or early summers in Hokkaido, and have fun with your friends and family!