Shintomicho, Miyazaki. A normal private residence has become one of the most popular tourist spots in town.

In a 2,000-square-meter property lies a garden full of moss phlox, which is open to the public every year from the end of March to the end of April. On busy days, up to 7,000 people visit the garden.

A garden covered with beautiful pink flowers... There is another reason why people like to visit this place: because it is a labor of love between a husband and wife.

A flower garden for a wife who had lost her sight

Yasuko and Toshiyuki Kuroki have together been running a dairy farm in this home since they have married in 1956.

Everyday they get up early in the morning and looked after their 60 cattle. They did not make a lot of money, and it was a financial struggle for the couple.

"Once we've saved up enough money and stopped working, let's go for travel all around Japan."

Throughout their married life, the Kuroki family supported each other while raising their two children.


Tragedy strikes

30 years into their marriage, Yasuko (who turned 52 at the time) complained of eye problems. Toshiyuki took her to an optometrist immediately, but the reason for her symptoms were unknown.

One week later, by the time when the doctors and optometrist discovered that her symptom was due to diabetes, her sight was completely lost.

"I want to disappear..."

Yasuko lost all her hope, and uttered those words. All the hard work she and her husband have put in had fizzled.

A small bouquet of moss phlox for his beloved wife

Yasuko ended up cocooned in her home since she had lost her sight.

"If someone came around to our house, would they chat with me?"

Seeing his wife say something like that, Toshiyuki was also lost.

But one day, he saw moss phlox flowers blooming in his garden. Then things started to change in him.


"Even if my wife cannot see, with flowers, you can smell them. And if there is a beautiful flower garden in our home, maybe people might want to come and visit us."

With this idea, Toshiyuki decided to plant moss phlox throughout the entire garden.

To bring a smile back to his beloved, Toshiyuki reconditioned the soil for 2 years, and planted moss phlox everyday.

A carpet full of moss phlox starts spreading in the garden

It took 10 years for the flower garden to grow. First the neighbors noticed. Then people outside of the region came and visited.

And when you visit, there is Yasuko, speaking with visitors with a big smile on her face.

Toshiyuki continues to look after the garden for Yasuko and visitors. Having people visit and enjoy the place is now Toshiyuki's life work.

This beautiful garden is indeed a labor of love, and it shows.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.