In Shintomi Town in Miyazaki Prefecture, there’s a beautiful tourist spot that blooms every spring with a carpet of shibazakura flowers.
What makes the site truly special is the fact that it’s a private residence, and the reason that up to 7,000 people visit on any given day from late March to April is not entirely because of the gorgeous flowers — it’s because of the touching love story that brought the garden into existence.
The land was once a dairy farm, home to a young couple, Mr. and Mrs. Kuroki, after they married in 1956. Rising early every morning, the two tended to a herd of 60 cows while raising two children in the process. It was a tough yet rewarding life on the farm, with the hope that one day, upon retirement, they would be able to take a well- earned trip around Japan.
After 30 years of marriage, Mrs. Kuroki suddenly encountered a problem with her eyes, which turned out to be a complication from diabetes causing her sight to fail just one week later.
Feeling her life was over, Mrs Kuroki was devastated at the prospect of not being able to go on the trip she and her husband had always dreamed about and didn’t want to face a life of immobility.
As a result, she shut herself away from the world and began living a life of seclusion in her home. It pained her husband to see her normally cheerful expression become one of sadness, and he thought that if they could at least have a visitor or two each day, it would encourage his wife to come out of her shell.
One day, Mr Kuroki glanced upon a pink shibazakura flower in the garden and it occurred to him that the beauty of flowers can be experienced not only through sight, but through the sense of smell as well. If he were to create a garden filled with flowers, he thought, his wife could still enjoy their beauty, and people might also come to visit, which would bring a smile to her face again.
Mr. Kuroki spent two years planting the sea of bright pink flowers that would eventually surround their home.
Now, more than a decade after the first seeds were planted, the garden draws visitors from surrounding towns and prefectures, with people hoping for a chance encounter with Mr. and Mrs. Kuroki, who can often be seen walking around the property.
And if you meet Mrs. Kuroki today, you’ll see that her husband has brought a huge smile back to her face, all with the help of visitors and flowers.
Watch the video below: