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Travel Trade & Media

Special Summer Vacation and Sunflowers in Zama

by Yoonseo Jung

If you are looking for a special summer vacation, Zama City in Kanagawa is the perfect place to visit. The best time to plan your trip is around mid-August when sunflowers, the symbol of the city, are in full bloom. In Zama, you can immerse yourself in the rich natural splendor and cultural attractions of Japan. Start your journey at Prefectural Zama Yatoyama Park, where you can relax and experience well-preserved nature from the Jomon Era (10,500-300 BCE).

Before entering the park, don't forget to bring some snacks! Right in front of the east exit of Zama Station on the Odakyu line, you'll find a local cookie store called "Poem." This charming spot offers cookies made from fresh local ingredients, such as Zama Sunflower Rice and Yatoyama sweet potato.

Prefectural Zama Yatoyama Park

Once your snacks are ready, walk north from the store for about 10 minutes. Once you catch the scent of grass and trees, you’ll know you’re almost there. You can stroll along the tranquil paths, gaze at the pond, or enjoy your snacks while sitting on a bench.

Plus, it's easy to spot various species of birds, such as kestrels and titmice! Furthermore, the Satoyama Experience Center offers exhibitions on daily life in prehistoric Japan. While the center is open every day from 9am–4pm, its reception desk is only manned on weekends and holidays. During these days, you can rent binoculars and other equipment.

If you have time after exploring the various attractions of Zama Yatoyama Park, how about grabbing a bottle of Zama Water at Zama City Hall? It’s sourced from local, pure groundwater and is known for its rich minerals and taste. The stylish aluminum bottle also adds to its charm.

Suzukamyo Shrine

If you found the Jomon Era intriguing at the park, I highly recommend visiting Suzakamyo Shrine as well since it was originally a residential area during the Jomon era. In addition to the serene atmosphere created by the lush nature and shrine, you will be able to sense traces of the passage of time on grounds where humans lived thousands of years ago.

Zama Shrine

Are you a pet owner? If so, you must include Zama Shrine in your itinerary, as the shrine features a small area dedicated to cats and dogs. Here, you can pray or purchase a cute amulet for your beloved companions. At the corner of the shrine, there is a space where visitors can write wishes for their pets. Plus, it’s easily accessible—only a five-minute walk from Sobudaishita Station on the JR Sagami line.

Zama Sunflower Field

Don’t miss the Zama Sunflower Field, the most popular spot in Zama City! With 550,000 sunflowers spread across a 55,000m² field, you’ll feel like you’re stepping into a painting. Every corner of the field is photogenic and Instagram-worthy. We recommend traveling by car for easy access, but you can also take a bus bound for Zama Yotsuya at Zama Station and get off at Zama Telephone Office. Just a 15-minute walk away, you’ll be welcomed by the harmony of the vivid yellow petals, deep-brown seeds, and fresh green leaves.

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