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Hello! This is G-now, the newsletter from Gunma Prefecture.

Spring has come with the beautiful blooming of cherry trees. Now is the time for other glorious flowers! From spring to early summer, Gunma is decorated with colorful flowers.

Gunma-chan, Mascot character of Gunma Prefecture

Newsletter from Gunma May 2013, Gunma Prefecture Mail to: visit-gunma@pref.gunma.lg.jp

G-now

Once the warm temperature covers the prefecture, various kinds of flowers began to be in bloom one and another. Azalea (tsutsuji in Japanese) is one of them. As this is the representative flower of Gunma Prefecture, you can enjoy splendid scenery of azaleas in various places in the prefecture.

Welcome!

At Tsutsujigaoka Park, 10,000 shrubs of azaleas with over 50 varieties are in bloom during mid-April to mid-May. 800-year-old trees are a sight to see. Location: 3128-5 Hanayama-cho, Tatebayashi-shi, Gunma Access: About 25 min on foot from Tatebayashi Station on Tobu Railway Isesaki Line <Azalea Festival> Period: 15 (Mon) April 15 (Wed) May 2013 Website: http://www.utyututuji.jp/ (Japanese)

Azalea
Over 600,000 shrubs of Japanese azaleas at Kazawa Yunomaru Plateau are designated as a special natural monument. You can enjoy the view of the plateau with red carpet of azaleas during mid-June to early July. Location: Tashiro, Tsumagoi-mura, Agatsuma-gun, Gunma Access: About 30 min by car from Manza-Kazawaguchi Station on JR Agatsuma Line <Yunomaru Plateau Azalea Festival> Date: 23 (Sun) June 2013 Website: http://www.tsumagoikankou.jp/ (Japanese)

Mt. Akagi is another spot for beautiful azalea viewing.500,000 shrubs of azalea with 14 varieties are in bloom during early June to early July. Location: 1-14 Akagisan, Fujimi-machi, Maebashi-shi, Gunma Access: About 60 min by bus from Maebashi Station on JR Ryomo Line <Mt. Akagi Fresh Green and Azalea Week> Period: 2 (Sun) 30 (Sun) June 2013 Website: http://www.city.maebashi.gunma.jp/kan ko/398/p004171.html (Japanese)

And other kinds of flowers are also waiting for your visit!

Fuji no Saku Oka is a park with splendid wisteria blooming. You shouldnt miss to walk through the 250-meter-long wisteria trellis! Location: 2690-7 Fujioka, Fujioka-shi, Gunma Access: About 10 min by car from Fujioka IC of Joshin-Etsu Expressway <Wisteria Festival> Period: 27 (Sat) April 12 (Sun) May 2013 Website: http://www.city.fujioka.gunma.jp/kakuka/f_ syoko/fujinosakuoka.html (Japanese)

Wisteria Rhododendron

You can enjoy beautiful rhododendron blooming at Asama Plateau Rhododendron Park. Location: Kanbara, Tsumagoi-mura, Agatsumagun, Gunma Access: About 70 min by car from UsuiKaruizawa IC of Joshin-Etsu Expressway <Rhododendron Festival> Period: 17 (Fri) May 9 (Sun) June 2013 Website: http://asamas.seesaa.net/article/257254261.html (Japanese)

Rose
Rose Garden in Shikishima Park is a gorgeous garden with 7,000 roses with 600 varieties blooming. Location: 262 Shikishima-cho, Maebashi-shi, Gunma Access: About 20 min by bus from Maebashi Station on JR Ryomo Line <Rose Garden Festival> Period: 18 (Sat) May 9 (Sun) June 2013 Website: http://www.city.maebashi.gunma.jp/kanko /398/p004171.html (Japanese) Gunma Flower Park holds 7 different flower festivals in a year. During Rose Festival, one of the 7 festivals, 1,600 roses with 320 varieties decorate the park beautifully. Location: 2471-7 Kashiwagura-machi, Maebashishi, Gunma Access: About 30 min by car from Isesaki IC of Kita-Kanto Expressway <Rose Festival> Period: 25 (Sat) May 23 (Sun) June 2013 Website: http://www.flowerpark.jp/festival/index.html (Japanese)

Japanese Iris
24,000 Japanese irises are in bloom at Akabori Japanese Iris Park in Isesaki. Plants area is ancient waterway called Onna-bori which is nationally designated as a historical site. Location: 213 and other place in Shimofurei-cho, Isesaki-shi, Gunma Access: About 5 min by car from Isesaki IC of Kita-Kanto Expressway Website: http://www.isesaki.ne.jp/kankoukyoukai/h ana.html (Japanese) At Tatebayashi Japanese Iris Garden, 400,000 Japanese irises with 270 varieties are in bloom during early to late June. Location: (Within Tsutsujigaoka Second Park) 8-1 Obiki-cho, Tatebayashi-shi, Gunma Access: About 10 min by car from Tatebayashi IC of Tohoku Expressway <The 21nd Japanese Iris Festival> Period: 8 (Sat) 23 (Sun) June 2013 Website: http://www.utyututuji.jp/seasonsummer.html (Japanese)

Lily
Ota-Yoshizawa Yuri no Sato holds 1,500,000 lilies with 50 varieties that are in bloom during early June to mid-July. Location: 2168 Yoshizawa-cho, Ota-shi, Gunma Access: About 10 min by car from Ota- Kiryu IC of Kita-Kanto Expressway Opening Period: 8 (Sat ) June 15 (Mon/ holiday) July 2013 Website: http://ota-yuri.com/ (Japanese) Lilies at Oze Iwakura Lily Garden are in bloom a month later than that of Ota. At the large area which welcomed many skiers during winter season, 3,000,000 lilies with 50 varieties are beautifully in bloom during midJuly to late August. Location: 2609 Tsuchiide, Katashina-mura, Tone-gun, Gunma Access: About 50 min by car from Numata IC of Kan-Etsu Expressway Website: http://www.ozeiwakura.co.jp/yuri/ (Japanese)

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Hydrangea blooms beautifully during rainy season in Japan. Onoike Hydrangea Park in Shibukawa is one place where you can enjoy about 8,000 hydrangeas during midJune to mid-July. Location: 2979 Shibukawa, Shibukawa-shi, Gunma Access: About 10 min by car from Shibukawa Station on JR Joetsu Line Website: http://www2.wind.ne.jp/heso/floral/ (Japanese)

Hydrangea
Sori Station becomes a nice spot to stop by; about 2,200 hydrangeas are in bloom near the platform of the station during late June to mid-July. Location: Sori, Azuma-cho, Midori-shi, Gunma Access: Sori Station on Watarase Keikoku Railway Website: http://www.watetsu.com/ (Japanese)

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Lotus Flower
Beautiful lotus flower can be seen especially in the morning at Akabori Lotus Park. Blooming season in early July to mid-August. Location: 301 Iso-cho, Isesaki-shi, Gunma Access: About 25 min by car from Isesaki Station on JR Ryomo Line Website: http://www.isesaki.ne.jp/kankoukyoukai/ hasuen.htm (Japanese)

During early July to mid-August, you can enjoy pale pink lotus flower up close from boat at Jonuma and Kojonuma Marsh in Tatebayashi. Also, lotus flowers with about 200 varieties are displayed at Tsutsujigaoka Park-In. Location: 3128-5 Hanayama-cho, Tatebayashishi, Gunma Access: About 10 min by car from Tatebayashi IC of Tohoku Expressway <The 11th Jonuma Lotus Flower Festival> Period: 10 (Wed) July 15 (Wed) August 2013 Website: http://www.utyututuji.jp/seasonsummer.html (Japanese)

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The number I show on each spot corresponds to the number on the map!

Gunmas Gourmet of This Month


11 Isobe Senbei is the Gunmas gourmet of this month. It is a local specialty using flour, sugar and mineral water of Isobe Onsen. It has long been one of souvenirs that represents Isobe Onsen as its crunchiness and sweet aroma have attracted many people. You can try the simple but delicious taste of Isobe Senbei at 19 shops in Isobe Onsen. You should try it when you visit Gunmas flower viewing spots especially in Fujioka and nearby cities! 13

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Access to Gunma (Takasaki Sta.)


From Tokyo: Kan-Etsu Expressway About 60 min (From Nerima IC to Takasaki IC) Joetsu Shinkansen About 50 min Nagano Shinkansen About 50 min (From Tokyo Sta. to Takasaki Sta.) From Haneda Airport: Express Bus About 135 min (From Haneda Airport to Takasaki Sta. West Exit) From Narita Intl Airport: Express Bus About 180 min (From Narita Intl Airport to Takasaki Sta. West Exit)

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Find more about tourism on Gunma at; Gunma Bureau of Tourism Gface www.facebook.com/visitgunma.En, Tourist Guide of Gunma Prefecture www.visitgunma.jp/en