Higanbana - Red Spider Lily viewing in Kinchakuda, Saitama, Japan

04:53 09/13/2023

When it comes to fall in Japan, the first thing that comes into the mind of many is undoubtedly the beautiful fall foliage, coloring the scenery in a beautiful combination of different shades of red, yellow, and orange.

However, many tend to forget about the red spider lilies. Also known as Higanbana in Japanese, these flowers, with their magnificent red color, are also widely regarded as one of the symbols of fall here in Japan. An ideal location to witness the beauty of these flowers is in Kinchakuda, Saitama.

In this article, let’s set out with GoEMON to discover the beauty of Higanbana red spider lilies in Kinchakuda, Saitama! 

1. The History of Higanbana 

Red spider lilies, also known as Higanbana in Japanese, usually start blooming from mid-September until the end of October. In Japanese, Higanbana is written as “彼岸花,” in which “Higan” (彼岸)means “the other side,” referring to the land of the dead.  

What’s special about these flowers is that the leaves and flowers will never grow at the same time: when there are leaves, the flowers won’t bloom and accordingly, when the flowers bloom, there won’t be any leaves. This interesting “relationship” between the flower and leaves of Higanbana is compared to that of lovers separated by death and faith: just like yin and yang, there are no chances of them ever meeting once again. Therefore, this flower is associated with separation and grief in Japan. 

Higanbana flowers are toxic. Therefore, Japanese people since ancient times would plant these flowers all over the graves of those who have passed, so as to guard them from rodents and animals that can potentially destroy the graves. This also explains the reason why they are also commonly known as “The Flower of the Dead.” 

2. Higanbana in Kinchakuda 

The largest Higanbana field in Japan is located in Kinchakuda, Hidaka City, Saitama prefecture, Japan. It is 1 hour away from Tokyo by train. The field is home to an astonishing number of over 5 million Higabana flowers. Marking the transition from summer to autumn, during September and October of every year, the 5 million flowers will be in full bloom, showcasing their amazing and captivating red-as-blood color. The bright red, thin petals are supported by long and slim branches, giving it a mesmerizingly elegant look and unique charm that has captured the hearts of many people. 

From mid-September to October of every year, it is very easy to spot the field as it colors and brightens the entire area with its unique red shade. The best time of the day to witness their beauty would probably be during dawn or dusk when the golden sunlight shines brightly on the field. This would be te perfect time to take pictures as well. 

When the flowers are in bloom, the Manjushage Festival will be held, with a variety of stalls selling foods, and souvenirs, as well as many interesting performances for visitors to enjoy. 

  • Address: 125-2, Oaza Komahongo, Hidaka-shi, Saitama 埼玉县日高市大字高丽本郷125-2
  • Access: 15 mins on foot from Koma Station / 40 mins on foot from Komagawa Station 
  • Entrance Fee: Will be collected during the time of the festival. Entrance fee for 2019: 300 yen
  • Website: http://kinchakuda.com/

Different from the pure and gentle shade of cherry blossoms in spring or the vibrant yellow of sunflowers during the summer, the red shade of Higanbana gives off a somewhat more serious and alluring vibe. If you have the chance to be in Japan during fall, why not use the opportunity to go admire this interesting flower? We’re sure that you will be taken away by its beauty. 

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