In Hakone, cherry blossoms are enjoyed from April to early May, with the famous Someiyoshino variety reaching its prime in early April. The mountains of Hakone are adorned with this iconic sakura while the gardens at Shinsenkyō is painted with a palette of spring flowers—swamppink, azalea, rhododendron, etc.—against fresh green of sprouting branches.
The moss garden is in a verdant serenity in early summer, moist in the seasonal rains that grow the plant through the season. Come the summer in full swing, Sekiraku-en the rocky garden is decorated with elegant golden-rayed lilies and plantain lilies here and there. A stroll among the enticing rocks, with the sound of the streams in the background, is simply heavenly.
Autumn is when Shinsenkyō is at its best—early on, the bushclover lines the wild rocks along the little path leading to the museum building, and in November, the garden carpeted with its 120 varieties of mosses turns into a frenzy of autumnal colors on the 200 maple trees, creating a breath-taking scenery.
After the splendid display of autumn leaves, Shinsenkyō assumes a serene ambiance of winter. From end-December to late-March, the moss garden is covered with stalks of dry water reed. This not only protects the moss from the wintry elements, but also adds an aesthetic arrangement to the view. When it snows, the gardens turn into a series of awe-inspiring landscape paintings.