Joetsu Lotus Festival
The greatest display of lotus blossoms in the Orient!
In the 4th year of Meiji (1871), the Takada clan was suffering from financial difficulties due to the Boshin War (Japan Revolution) and crop failure. As a countermeasure, the rich landowner of Tonome, Hosaka Sadakichi decided to invest from his own estate and plant lotus in the castle moat. Lotus root was harvested here until 1962.
In 1953, when the late Dr. Oga Ichiro, known for lotus research visited, he exclaimed, "It is rare in the world to see such a large Lotus Pond, and in particular, it is rare to see a combination of red and white blossoms." The citizens who heard him started saying, "Number one in the Orient" as it is known today.
Lotus fill most of the outer moat (about 19 hectares) around the castle ruins of Takada Park. The types of lotus are Japanese lotus, mostly red crimson, but partly white lotus flowers are mixed. In 1983, 12 new varieties of lotus were donated by Professor Fumio Kitamura of the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Tokyo, and they can also be seen at the Lotus Garden in the north side of the western moat.
* 19 hectares (190,000m2) is about 4 times the size of Tokyo Dome