Shibazakura Park in Ōzora, Japan

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Shibazakura Park.

In early May each year, the shibazakura (also known as moss phlox) forms an astonishing carpet of pink across the hillside in Higashimokoto. The sea of brilliantly pink petals ripples in the breeze, creating an utterly enchanting atmosphere backdropped by the imposing Mount Fuji.

The Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park is the largest area of planted moss in Japan. About 800,000 of the shibazakura flowers bloom there each spring in a breathtaking display of nature’s beauty. The blossoms cover the earth in a thick blanket of colorful petals.

Every year during the bloom, the Fuji Shibazakura Festival is held to celebrate this annual treat. Footpaths wind through the vibrant moss, letting people immerse themselves in the landscape (be sure to stay on the paths to avoid damaging any plants). The event draws far fewer tourists than Japan’s famous cherry blossom festivals, meaning you can still get a fun, floral experience without as many of the crowds. And as a bonus, there’s even a food festival held during this particular flower festival.