I saw a photo of this event on the internet last year and told Satoshi about it.
The festival was supposed to run from April 29th until May 31st, but started early due to the warm weather in April. So, they opened the park on April 25th, but with the weird warm/cold days, the flowers have begun to die, so I am not so sure that they will last until the end of the month.
Near Lake Motosu, in Yamanashi prefecture, there is a little park run by the people who run the amusement park (Fujikyu Highland) in the area. From this park you can see Mt Fuji (on a clear day). To decorate the park, they have shibazakura (literally ground cherry or lawn cherry, actually a type of phlox) as ground cover. The photo on their Japanese website is beautiful.
The weather on Friday was overcast and very windy. The temperature was 14C (57.2F) but felt colder with the wind.
By the time we got to the park, Mt Fuji had covered most of itself up with the clouds.
We had a late lunch with some "fast foods" from the booths there.
We shared the Motosu shika (deer) curry (there wasn't much deer/meat in it or much curry), Satoshi was bummed as it cost 800 yen (about US$8). The Fujimiya yakisoba, this was a drier type of fried noodle made with a thicker noodle. At 600 yen (about US$6) we felt this was a good deal because there was quantity.
Still feeling hungry, we also got a bowl of houtou (pronounced hoe-toe), this is a miso soup based broth with flat noodles in it. This also had a lot of veggies in it. For 650 yen (about US$6.50) Satoshi liked this, plus it was a good way to warm up. We also tried the butaman, this was made with Fujizakura pork, it also had water chestnuts & takenoko (bamboo shoots). Satoshi thought this was a rip-off for 350 yen (about US$3.50), but it was larger than the ones they sell at convenience stores and this one was tasty.
Though most of these foods were expensive, it was a great way to try the foods famous for this area.
Fuji Shibazakura Matsuri
check their website for the days of this event (I think it changes from year to year). (In Japanese)
How we got there: we took the highway bus from Shinjuku (in Tokyo) to Kawaguchi-ko (Lake Kawaguchi) 1700 yen (about US$17) per person/one way.
From Kawaguchi-ko station, we took the special shuttle bus to the park, 1800 yen (about US$18) per person, this was a round-trip ticket plus entrance to the park.
Entrance to the park if you do not take this bus, it is 500 yen (about US$5) per person. I heard if you drive your car/rental car, it costs 500 yen (about US$5) just to park there.
The special shuttle bus runs about every 30 minutes but depends on traffic, on weekends it apparently was running once every 2 or 3 hours.
Though we didn't get to see Mt Fuji with a clear blue sky, we were happy that we got to see part of it.
More photos to be posted to Flickr.