Every year for about six weeks, a mountainside park about 90 minutes outside of Tokyo turns into a controlled explosion of pink, white and lavender flowers. They are shibazakura 芝桜 , known as phlox in English, and they grow like a carpet of flowers against the mountain backdrop of Saitama. Chichibu is a town in Saitama once renowned for its silk weaving and dyeing crafsmen, but sadly, this industry is slowly dying off. Today, the Shibazakura attract the majority of tourists to the area. Hitsujiyama Park in Chichibu is most easily reached from Tokyo on the Seibu Ikebukuro line’s New Red Arrow, which you can take from either Seibu Shinjuku or Ikebukuro stations.