The sunflower of Zama was selected to represent Zama city in 1969 and as "100 sights of flowers in Kanagawa" in 1994. The scale has increased every year and now has expanded over a scale exceeding 5.5 hectares. The field is divided into the Kurihara venue and Zama venue, where sunflower festivals are held every year.
Selected as one of the top 100 scenic flower experiences in Kanagawa, waltz your way through a dreamy expanse of 550,000 happy golden sunflowers beneath blue summer skies in Zama city. Blooming every year in late July to the middle of August, the sunflower (himawari) was selected to represent Zama city in the late 1960s. The dark green leaves symbolize the continuous development of the city, while the large yellow flower shows the joint effort of all the residents to make the city a bright and healthy place to live. All this makes the sunflower the perfect symbol for the Zama community.
Though the sunflowers were originally planted in 1994 as a measure against idle farmland erosion they now cover more than five and a half hectares. The flowers are grown across two venues so that they may be enjoyed for a longer period. Sightseers can enjoy 100,000 sunflowers at the Kurihara venue, with the Zama site growing 450,000 sunflowers every year. Pictures of you and your loved ones beneath the tall happy flowers are sure make lasting memories of the Japanese summer. Both the Zama- and Kurihara fields are used annually to host sunflower festivals.
In late July, weave down a walkway that cuts through the field at the Kurihara festival and make your way for the observation deck. Treat yourself to a slice of sunshine at the cut sunflower sale and find some lovely souvenirs under the blue-sky market and bazaar, only open for the festival period. The Kurihara field is an enjoyable 30-minute stroll from Sobudai-mae Station or a short bus ride from the station to Zamasogokoko-mae bus stop. A free shuttle bus from the parking lot at Kurihara Elementary School also takes guests to the field, however public transportation is recommended.
Mid-August hosts Zama’s main field festival. In addition to the wonderful pathway with towering golden sunflowers and the observation deck, sunflower lovers can enjoy cut blooms and the huge Zama blue-sky market and bazaar. At the Zama field, you can also enjoy pony rides and experience the sweetfish hand-catching event (Ayu no Tsukamidori). Children can even enter the Sunflower Prince and Princess Contest. The Zama venue is a quick 15-minute walk from Sobudai-mae Station or ride the bus from the station to Himawari Matsuri Kaijo. There is parking available at Sagami River Ground—but again, public transportation is recommended.
Whichever site you choose to visit, you’re sure to find some spectacular sunflower-themed items and foods. Try sunflowers in ways you never thought you would: sunflower pasta, crackers, beer, and cider. Enjoy music and entertainment as you snack your way through the summer and the fields. The sunflower fields and scale of the festivals grow every year, so you’ll want to visit again and again. Make your summer brighter by visiting Zama to enjoy the flowers and festivals. You and your family are sure to be smiling along with the sunflowers in no time.
Add an artsy touch to your photos during the Kurihara festival by posing with props supplied by the festival. Model with picture frames and hats to immortalize the fun moment.