Enjoy Chrysanthemum Arrangement at Kanto Kikka Taikai 2018 in Gunma

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After the hot summer has gone, why don’t you enjoy watching beautiful flowers?
There are many Kikka Taikai (Chrysanthemum Festivals) in fall in Japan. And Kanto Kikka Taikai (Chrysanthemum Festival in Kanto Region) that takes place in Nagame Park in Gunma is one of the biggest one in Japan. I am sure, you will be surprised by the variety of kinds and quantity of chrysanthemum during this festival.

Chrysanthemum as a Symbol in Japan

Japanese respect chrysanthemum as a symbol of Japanese who love flowers and peace. It is used in the crest of the Emperor and the Imperial Household. However, It had not originated in Japan, but it was imported from China.
Nowadays it is used on the front page of Japanese passport, badges of police headquarters, or Diet members, as a symbol of the Liberal Democratic Party, etc. You can find it on every package sent from the Emperor’s house. Houses of imperial prince have own different crests with chrysanthemums as well.

This flower is very familiar to the Japanese. Many people say that the symbol flower of spring is cherry blossoms, and that of autumn is chrysanthemum in Japan.
There are many contests around Japan to compete for the beauty in fall.

About Kanto Kikka Taikai

Kikka Ningyo

In 2018 it is the 61st Kanto Kikka Taikai. Approximately 1,000 pots are displayed at the venue and you can feel the specific smell of the flowers. Also, many beautiful dolls decorated with chrysanthemums (“Kikka Ningyo”菊花人形) embellish the event site gorgeously. It is said that the tradition of decorating these dolls came from the Edo period. Many chrysanthemums are used to create animal shapes or doll’s clothes. You can see these dolls at the chrysanthemums festival or chrysanthemums dolls contests all over Japan in autumn.

Photo contest

Last year a photo contest was held, and many people applied for it from all over Japan. After the consideration, a first prize, five outstanding performance awards, and ten prizes were offered to the winners on January 19th, 2018. These winning works will be displayed at the 61st Kanto Kikka Taikai.
The deadline for this year’s (2018) application is November 30th. If you are interested in taking a photo of flowers, you should definitely apply!

Kikka Yose

Rakugo is a traditional Japanese style comic performance ending with a joke (ochi) performed by a single storyteller (hanashika) who is sitting on a cushion on stage. He tells comic stories by making puns (dajare), distinguishing between different roles by facing one way and another.
Rakugo which originated in the Edo Period (1603-1867), is performed in entertainment halls called yose in Nagame Park on Saturdays and Sundays during the festival.
Even though Rakugo is in Japanese and you probably won’t understand what the storyteller is saying if you don’t know the language, but I’m sure you can feel the old Japanese culture.

Waterfalls Close to Midori City

There are Konaka Otaki小中大滝 ( and Fudotaki 不動滝 ( near Midori city. Taki means waterfall in Japanese.
To get to Konaka Otaki, you have to walk through Kesakake bridge. The most significant slope angle is 44%. It’s certainly thrilling. You can see many snails at the beginning of April, azaleas, and rosebays in the middle of April, and colorful leaves in the late October.


Takatsudo-kyo (高津戸峡) is a beautiful valley and many people say that it looks like Yabakei (耶馬渓) which is said to be one of the top three valleys in Japan. It takes about 20 minutes to get to Yabakei, but it’s only a 10 minute walk from the station to Takatsudo-kyo.
There is a walking trail and you can see a big rock with the shape of a gorilla or a pothole. The good season to go there is from May to late autumn. The beautiful autumn foliage that reflects on the surface of the Watarase river is so beautiful that you Shouldn’t miss it!

Details and Access

Dates: October 27 ~ November 25, 2018
Hours: 9:00 AM ~ 4:00 PM (Last entrance 3:30 PM)
Place: Nagame Park, Gunma
Address: 1635 Omama, Omamacho, Midori, Gunma Prefecture
Official Website (Japanese only):
Fee: Adult \400 / Junior and high school students \200
– 0.5km (2 Min.) walk from Watarase Railway, Omama Station
– 1.6km (20 Min.) walk from Tobu Railway, Akashiro Station
More Info:
– Nagame Park TEL 0277-72-1968
– Midori city hall Event Section TEL 0277-76-1270

Closing Remarks

Bonsai and Rakugo are very popular now among foreigners and you can enjoy many bonsai trees at the Kanto Kikka Taikai as well.
The period when the Kikka Taikai is held is a perfect season to visit Japan because it is during the peak of the autumn leaves. They are turning red and yellow. It is as essential to see Koyo (autumn leaves) as Sakura in spring for every Japanese.

If you would like to attend this festival with a local guide, wander around Midori city together, or maybe hike with a Japanese friend, please check the banner below!

For All Flower Lovers

Cherry blossoms are an essential part of Japanese culture. And, viewing cherry blossoms (Hanami) is very popular in Japan during the spring. This is because cherry blossoms, which the Japanese call “Sakura” are stunning in Japan at the time.

If you are planning to visit Japan this spring, and if you want to see more cherry blossoms in another area. I would like you to check the Best cherry blossom spots in Kyoto. Kyoto is one of the best places to see cherry blossom and Japanese culture.

Here`s the link. URL: 

Kyoto has many beautiful spots to see Cherry blossoms. However, other areas also have an excellent place for hanami, especially in Tokyo!

If you are in Tokyo around spring and looking for a place to see cherry blossom. Why don`t you check this “Cherry Blossom Spots and Sakura Festivals in Tokyo To Feel Spring.” This article will help you to choose which hanami spot is perfect for you! Click below for more details.


Would You Like to Know How to Enjoy a Japanese Festival Even More?

A lot of people when they get to a Matsuri for the first time feel themselves a bit lost. They confuse about what is happening around. If you are new to Japanese Festivals or want to know an alternative way of how you can enjoy these events, the following article will provide you with a set of helpful tips on how to choose a proper festival and activities you should try there. Please don`t hesitate to take a look at it!


Did You Know That There is a Festival Every Day Somewhere in Japan?

Japan is a country of festivals indeed. Matsuri is an essential part of traditional Japanese culture. Thus, every day somewhere in Japan a festival takes place. There are traditional and modern festivals, on the sea and on the ground, in summer and winter. Japanese are hardworking people. However, when you attend at least one festival in Japan, you will understand how locals like to party. The article under the link below will introduce you to a celebration on any day of the year. I am sure you will find an event that suits your interests utmost!


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I am a student writer in Kyoto. I would like you to know more Kyoto.

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