Lotus flowers are sacred. They rise above the mud to bloom with breathtakingly beautiful flowers, and not a single drop of mud sticks to their leaves. In Japan, as a Buddhist country, we can find a lot of symbolism connected to lotus flowers. Come to any Buddhist temple and see multiple lotus flower ornaments scattered around its territory - honzon, the main statue of the temple, probably stands on a pedestal of a lotus flower and is surrounded by many others. Same for other Buddhas and Boddhisattvas. And if you have seen a picture of Gokuraku Jodo, Japanese paradise, you must have notices that is a real lotus flower kingdom.
If you want to spend one day in paradise without all the consequences of this kind of a journey, you can simply visit Naganuma lotus flower festival. It gives a perfect impression of how it feels to become a Buddha.
Looking down from the hill to the lake of Naganuma in August is already an unforgettable experience. The lake is totally and utterly pink and green, not a single blink of water is visible.
It looks like a field, and it is not hard to imagine walking through the flowers, which, unfortunately, is impossible. You have to swim or - use a boat.
Boats are very much approachable here, although you have to wait a little bit, as there are too many people who want to enjoy the Gokuraku Jodo experience (we had to wait approximately 30 minutes). Meanwhile, you can shop for souvenirs - many beautiful things made of lotuses, eat kakigori or just walk along the lake shores.
But nothing feels like taking a boat ride through these fields of paradise!
There is a very narrow path between the flowers, so the boats are moving slowly, stopping on the way for the guide to tell about lotuses and show the flowers, leaves and seed pods.
Here you can enjoy not only the sight of lotuses, but also their smell and the gentle feeling when you touch its velvety leaves. Also, you can taste lotus seeds - they are quite good, resembling green peas a little bit.
Visiting paradise on earth is rathe inspiring. No matter what happens around us, something pure and beautiful will rise above all the mud in the world. Again and again.
You can enjoy lotuses in bloom everyday in Hyoroyama park until August 31st.
Boats working hours: 9:00-16:00
Tickets: 700 for grown-ups, 500 for school children, 300 for children older than 4.