We’ll forgive you if you’ve never heard of Mifuneyama Rakuen. The Japanese park—home to 200,000 azaleas and 2,000 cherry trees—isn’t famous. What it is, is gorgeous, as French photographer Jordy Meow recently captured from both sky and ground.
Jordy’s website, the Offbeat Guide to Japan, is dedicated to “promoting the heart of Japan.” As such, it’s packed with beautiful photos of lesser known locations. We’ve all seen copious images taken in Kyoto and Tokyo, that’s not what Jordy is interested in. He wants to introduce visitors to places like Mifuneyama Rakuen, which he describes as follows:
Near the small town of Takeo there rises Mifuneyama, a proud mountain apparently covered with heads of broccoli. But a magical gardener has passed by and poured the juice of soft fruits over them, to announce the arrival of spring. Welcome to Mifuneyama Rakuen (御船山楽園), a park that literally transports you to paradise.
The park is gorgeous beyond words, but it’s critical that you visit it at the right time. When the 200,000 azaleas and 2,000 cherry trees are all in bloom, they turn the green mountain into a pink paradise; visit on a rainy day or between seasons, and you might be disappointed.
Jordy, of course, showed up on the perfect day, secured permission to launch his drone, and began capturing beautiful aerial photos of the historic park (it was established in the 1840s). Here are some of the shots he captured and shared with us:
But the aerial perspective wasn’t enough. He wasn’t nearly done.
“You don’t need to be on board a drone to enjoy the scenery, Mifuneyama Rakuen is just as beautiful seen from below, only different,” he explains on his website. “It’s easy to spend hours strolling around, finding a really good angle, drinking a coffee while enjoying the magic of the place.”
And that’s what he did, spending three hours just walking around, snapping colors so vibrant they really don’t need any help from that Saturation slider.
Finally, to top off the tip and give you a really well-rounded tour of this gorgeous park, Jordy came back once more in the evening. That might seem like a silly idea, until you realize the whole park is lit up at night. Drops of color on a dark sea.
To see even more pictures from the park, or find out about some of the “off the beaten path” locations Jordy has photographed during his time in Japan, head over to his website by clicking here. And if you really love his work, give him a follow on Facebook and Instagram as well.
Image credits: All photographs by Jordy Meow and used with permission.