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Friday, May 1, 2009
A rosy way to spend Golden Week
By TOMOKO OTAKE
T he rose-blossom season is coming up, and many places are offering visitors a chance to admire the flower seen in many cultures as a symbol of love and beauty at its best.
Of particular note is a rose festival starting on Monday, May 4 at Ark Hills in Roppongi, Tokyo ( 6404-6663), when Ark Karajan Plaza will feature a variety of the beautiful shrubs, with the emphasis this year on roses of Japanese origin and the works of Japanese breeders. Admission is free and there will also be a rose market.
Meanwhile, in the foothills of Mount Fuji at Kawaguchiko Music Forest, Yamanashi Prefecture, the music box museum's rose gardens ( 20-4111) are now approaching its annual peak of beauty. The garden's 3,500 roses of 600 different varieties are about to flower — including varieties such as "Serratipetala," with its ragged-edged petals, and "Johann Strauss," a light-pink variety named after the 19th-century Austrian composer and violinist. The museum, which showcases music boxes, also opened a souvenir shop on April 18 that stocks various original rose-related items, including perfume and accessories. Admission is ¥1,300 for adults, ¥1,100 for senior high school and college students and ¥800 for children of junior high school age or younger.
For avid rose admirers though, the 11th International Roses & Gardening Show 2009, to be held May 13-18 at Seibu Dome in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, has to be a must-see. A million roses will be on display in the 13,000-sq.-meter baseball stadium, where visitors can not only see the newest varieties but also buy young plants and hear rose experts sharing the latest gardening and horticulture techniques. Tickets are ¥1,700 for senior high school students and older and ¥600 for those junior high school students and younger if purchased in advance, and ¥2,000 for adults and ¥600 for those younger at the door. Tickets to the show can be used to enter the adjacent Seibu Yuenchi Amusement Park. For more information, contact the organizer at (03) 5777-8600.