Some 32,000 kochia burning bushes planted in an eastern Japan park have turned red as the fall foliage season takes hold, attracting many visitors.

Shaped like a pom-pom, the approximately 60-centimeter tall plants in Ibaraki Prefecture's Hitachi Seaside Park have changed color from vibrant green to the flame-like red that gives them their name.

Photo taken Oct. 18, 2020, shows summer cypress that turned bright red at Hitachi Seaside Park in Hitachinaka in Ibaraki Prefecture, eastern Japan. (Kyodo) 

The kochia, an annual species native to dry areas across Eurasia, grew somewhat smaller this year compared to average due to a long spell of rain this summer, according to the park.

On Sunday, about 22,000 visitors strolled past the bushes on a hillside, taking photos of the scenery along the way.

One of them was Kenji Hirooka, who visited the park with his family from Tokyo. "I am glad to have been able to bring my children with me as many events have been canceled (due to the novel coronavirus pandemic)," the 38-year-old said.

Visitors can enjoy the kochia in their fall glory until around Oct. 26. Tickets are required to be booked online in advance in order to control crowd numbers on weekends as a measure against the coronavirus.

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