How familiar are you in regards to the camellia?

The scientific name of the camellia is actually, Camellia Japonica and is native to the land of Japan.   In the 18th Century, the camellia had travelled abroad and had since spread worldwide to develop various types of western camellias. From what is known there are over 6,000 different types of camellia in the world.

[ Pic: Town of Camellia, Ofunato Symbol]

[Pic: Town of Camellia, Ofunato Symbol]

In a previous article, (March 2023) we have mentioned that Ofunato City is a port city, but we are also known as the Town of Camellia, thanks to the naturally growing camellia throughout the city. The camellia flower has also been officially designated as the city’s flower and is used in the symbol to represent the city.

For today’s article we would like to share with you some of the key camellia points in Ofunato City.(Please click here for more information about Camellia Tea! (The Sanriku Camellia Story | Iwate & the ILC (」)



Prefectural Natural Monument Ofunato’s Three Face Camellia

Near the entrance of the Sanriku Fukkō National Park – Goishi Coast, there is a Japanese Shrine named Kumano Shrine. Within this shrine stands a very large camellia japonica Tree called Ofunato’s Three Face Camellia.

[Pic: Three Face Camellia]

The Kumano Shrine is a very traditional shrine, and although currently has a camellia on its west side, it used to have a camellia tree planted on its East, South, and West side, hence the name “Three Face.”
We are deeply saddened by the fact that almost half of the tree had been severely damaged due to a hurricane in the past, but even still it blooms a beautiful red camellia flower during the change form winter to spring. Not only is this tree special because it grows to such size at a high latitude area, but also because it is said to have lived for over 1,400 years.



Goishi Camellia Garden
At the Goishi Camellia Garden near Ohama Shore you can find approximately 1000 camellia trees grown in these parts.
From the pavilion on the hill, you will be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the ria coast along with the red, white, yellow camellias which beautifully bloom here.
               [Pic:View of the Ria Coast from the Camellia Garden

The World’s Camellia Museum, Goishi
“The World’s Camellia Museum, Goishi” is an world class indoor camellia exhibit where you can see a display of over 700 camellia trees made up of over 600 different species from 13 different countries. From January to March is the blooming season for camellias, and this is without a doubt the timing in which you can experience the profusion of flowers from the world
In addition to the various other flowers which bloom in different seasons, you can also find camellia seedlings, camellia related goods, as well as camellia oil products lined up in the souvenir section!
As per previous years, the blooming season is also the timing of the “Sanriku, Ofunato Camellia Festival”
This year, it is open from January 28th to March 20th, and on the Sundays during this time, there will be small booths and activities such as camellia oil extraction activity and hand massages using camellia oils.
[Pic: The World’s Camellia Museum, Goishi]   [Pic: Camellias on display]    [Sanriku, Ofunato 27th Camellia Festival Poster]

[Movie: The World’s Camellia Museum, Goishi Promotion Trailer (YouTube)]

If you are interested in seeing the camellias, I sincerely recommend visiting during the blooming season!


【椿の里 大船渡】
椿は、学名を「Camellia Japonica」と言い、日本原産の植物です。18世紀以降、欧米に渡り、華やかな西洋椿が作られました。品種は全世界で6,000種類以上にものぼっています。