Shikisai no Oka flower gardens in Biei, Japan
© Tanya Jones/Shutterstoc
Hues of Hokkaido
The Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido is known the world over as a winter wonderland. But once the snow melts, it's not long before the northerly island becomes a summery extravaganza of colour. Just outside the town of Biei in central Hokkaido's hilly highlands, gardeners cultivate a rainbow blanket of tulips, lupine, marigolds, dahlias, and many more flowering plants. So wide is the assortment here at Shikisai no Oka (meaning 'Hills of Seasonal Colours') that if you visit between April and October, you're sure to find at least one type of flower in full bloom.