Admire Wisteria in Japan
Climbing and drooping plants
Wisteria turn heads from mid-April to early May with its millions of small, intoxicatingly scented flowers. Also called the “Flower of Fuji”, this tree flower is much loved in Japan for its heavy, colorful clusters. They have been a popular motif for kimono fabrics, but also in paintings, prints, and traditional ceramics for hundreds of years. Here we have selected five popular locations where these climbing plants bloom!
Kameido-tenjin Shrine, Tokyo
Often overlooked by tourists, Kameido Shrine, located east of Tokyo , has been famous for its wisteria since the Edo period (1603-1868). The beauty of this place during the peak of flowering is such that it was depicted in several prints by great artists, such as Hiroshige .
This park, where a hundred of these climbing plants are planted, is open to all and free. During the flowering period, a tree lighting show is held here. You can also take advantage of the food and drink stalls during this period.
- Access: 15 minutes on foot from Kameido Station or 15 min on foot from Kinshicho Station on the Sobu and Hanzomon lines.
- Address: 3-6-1 Kameido, Koto, 136-0071 Tokyo
Ashikaga Flower Park, Tochigi
Ashikaga Flower Park is built like a true work of art in a rainbow of colors. Many different flowers color the park all year round, but it is the 350 wisteria that is its main attraction. Among these, the star that catches all eyes is a large wisteria over 130 years old.
The park is divided into eight zones representing different kinds of wisteria depending on whether they are white, purple, long, or short.
Don't miss the wisteria-colored ice cream! It's the perfect snack to regain strength while admiring the colors of nature.
- Access: 13 min on foot from Tomita station (JR Ryomo line) and about 1h30 from Tokyo
- Address: 607 Hasama, 329-4216 Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture
Yokosuka Shobu Park, Kanagawa
The park, best known for its 14,000 irises, or Shobu in Japanese, which bloom there in June, also offers pleasant walks in May with its 250 wisterias of 11 different varieties. They are then accompanied by more than 400 rhododendrons.
The tunnels created by these trees allow you to enjoy the flowers at eye level and admire the colors. Rest areas have also been built under bamboo huts covered with this magnificent climbing plant.
- Access: Take the JR Yokosuka line to Kinugasa station, then a Keihin express bus to Shobu-en stop, and walk for 2 min.
- Address: 18-1 Abekura, 238-0033 Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture
Mandaraji Temple, Aichi
Located north of Nagoya, in the city of Konan, the Mandara-ji temple could almost pass for an ordinary temple. But from late April to early May, the wisteria planted on her grounds bloom in long, elegant clusters of flowers. A festival in their honor is then organized as well as illuminations at nightfall.
The wisteria pergolas, installed in the park, have around sixty wisterias of twelve different species. Visitors can then admire various brightly colored wisteria in shades of purple, pink, and white.
They are also accompanied by other flowers such as azaleas and peonies, which bloom at the same time.
- Access: 45 min from Nagoya train station to Konan station, then by bus to Mandara-ji station, 2 min walk.
- Address: 202 Tera, Maehibo, 483-8336 Konani, Aichi Prefecture
Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Nara
The city is Nara is known for its many sacred places. Among these, the Kasuga Taisha shrine is embellished with a charming botanical garden.
In this botanical garden, called Manyo, you can admire more than 200 wisterias of 20 different species. Among these, the " Sunazuri no Fuji ", an ancient wisteria, has clusters of flowers growing for so long that they now almost touch the ground.
The wisteria is the flower present on the family crest of the Fujiwara clan, the family has dominated the government of Japan from 710 to 1160. The clan then controlled a large part of Nara, the ancient capital of Japan, and built the shrine of Kasuga Taisha in 768. You can thus find it everywhere, in decoration or real life.
- Access: Kasuga Taisha Honden bus stop, or by train, about a 25 min walk from Kintetsu Railways station.
- Address: 160 Kasugano-cho, 630-8212 Nara, Nara Prefecture