Even if you're not headed to Hokkaido around July-August, there are plenty of places around Tokyo where you can get your fill of purple fields and natural aromatherapy - and the season is just starting! Here's a list of 3 spots in the Kanto area.
1) Tambara Lavender Park, Gunma Prefecture
Here you can escape the summer heat at 1,300m above sea level and enjoy 5 hectares of 50,000 lavender bushes of 4 varieties. There's a viewing deck from where you can get a view of rolling fields of lavender, and live demonstration of the lavender oil extraction process.
Period: Jun. 25 - Sep. 4, 2016
Access: Take the Shinkansen from Tokyo to JR Numata Station, and change to a bus headed for Tanbara
2) Lake Kawaguchiko, Yamanashi Prefecture
The Ooishi Park at Lake Kawaguchiko is where you can get a photo of lavender fields with Mt. Fuji in the background. The annual Kawaguchiko Lavender Festival is held both here and at Yagisaki Park from mid-June to mid-July, to celebrate the blossoming of 100,000 lavender bushes in all.
Kawaguchiko Lavender Festival
Period: Jun. 17 - Jul. 10, 2016 at Yagisaki Park
Jun. 17 - Jul. 18, 2016 at Ooishi Park
Access: From Lake Kawaguchiko take a Saiko shuttlebus to Yagisaki Park/Ooishi Park
3) Arakogawa Park, Aichi Prefecture
Date: Jun. 11 - 19, 2016
Access: From Nagoya City take the Aonami Line to Arakogawa Park and walk for 3 minutes
Hours: 9am - 4;30pm
Read also: A Lavender lover's wonderland for fragrant fields in the heart of Hokkaido