A Tranquil Expedition through the Lotus Fields, Never Seen in the Guidebooks

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Written by Editorial department

The lotus fields, as they change each season, will serve as your backdrop. Tokushima Prefecture is the producer of lotus root for many places across Japan, and even in Naruto you can find a number of lotus fields. From July to August you’ll find large, round flowers blooming among the thick patch of lotus leaves, while storks take to nesting between February and May. Depending on which of the four seasons you visit in, the lotus fields will offer up a different view to enjoy. On this tour, you will travel through these very same lands on a cycling tour that no guidebook knows abought! Enjoy the unique and picturesque landscapes on a time away like non other.

Kick off from JR Ikenotani Station and Bike Around the Lotus Fields

The tour starts at 9am. Kick off with your rent-a-cycle and Mt. Osayama at your back for a tranquil zip through the lotus fields. The lotus plants will seems to dance on the shallow waters, making for a perfect habitat for small fish, insects and reptiles。The conditions are perfect for the wild storks, a nationally protected species, subsist off of. The storks begin nesting in February and March and raise their young until May, right before your eyes! From June to August you’ll lotus leaves as far as the eye can see. However in July, they’ll begin to flower making for a picture-perfect landscape. There is a guide following a long to help share more details about the lotus plants and their natural habitat here to round off your trip.

A chance to catch the storks during the February to May nesting season.
A chance to catch the storks during the February to May nesting season.
The delicate, round flower bulbs blooming in July and August.
The delicate, round flower bulbs blooming in July and August.
Use your guide’s explanations to see the landscape in a whole new way!
Use your guide’s explanations to see the landscape in a whole new way!

After Exploring, head over to Direct Produce Market “Egao”

After your trip across the lotus fields, you’ll make your way to Direct Produce Market “Egao”, a go-to-spot to taste the best flavors of Naruto. In spring you can find “Narutotai”, a spring brand of “sakuradai” snapper, while in the summer you’ll find Naruto’s special pears. In fall the sweet, hot and fluffy “Naruto Kintoki” sweet potatoes, as well as lotus root and wakame seaweed. Here you’ll find a special chance to browse and shop the seasonal flavors of the region. To top it off there’s also a eat-in area where you can try udon topped with heart, meaty portions of Naruto wakame, Naruto Kintoki ice cream and more at this cozy stop.

The direct produce market “Egao” (lit. “smile”), selling a lineup of Naruto’s seasonal flavors.
The direct produce market “Egao” (lit. “smile”), selling a lineup of Naruto’s seasonal flavors.

End your Tour with Lipsmacking Lotus Root Dishes at Renmaru Café!

The final stop on your tour is lunch a Renmaru Café, a local spot featuring lotus root in a wide range of dishes. The lotus root you’ll find here in Naruto has an especially crunchy exterior and soft interior. Enjoy the chance to taste this local food heritage. With breathtaking, sky-high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows, the interior of this café feels incredibly open. In the center of the café there’s even a real lotus paddy! Depending on the season you may even find a few lotus flowers in bloom as you gaze from your water-side table.
The lotus plant is revered in Buddhism as a sacred plant, and the storks are said to bring good luck. Enjoy a chance to taste the flavors of a “bright future” in each dish. Who knows, you might just invite an extra wind of happiness by joining this tour.

A lotus paddy sits inside the café building.
A lotus paddy sits inside the café building.
Lip-smacking delicious dishes using heaps of lotus root and other fresh, local delights!
Lip-smacking delicious dishes using heaps of lotus root and other fresh, local delights!