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Flower Spotting: Wisteria

May 08, 2014
Ashikaga Flower Park

Missed Tokyo’s stunning but short-lived sakura season? Well, luckily you can consider your disappointment equally short-lived, as springtime in Japan means there’s ever more in store – and this month represents the peak season of the wisteria (known locally as ‘fuji’), when the country is suddenly awash with beautiful, cascading shades of purple petals. One of the archipelago's most ancient flowering trees, wisteria hangs from its tree in uniquely breathtaking trusses, but as the city offers few sites for prime fuji viewing, it’s well worth undertaking a 2-hour train from Tokyo to Tochigi Prefecture’s blossom-booming Ashikaga Flower Park.
 
The park features various species of the flower, in hues not limited to the signature lilac, namely blue, white, pink, and yellow, but the main attractions are arguably the three gigantic trellises that extend for more than 1,000 square metres, as well as the park’s cache of rare double-petalled wisteria. And those that are familiar with the world-famous Kawachi Fuji Gardens (known for its spectacular hanging flower ‘tunnel’), but rightly consider the whopping 12-hour drive from Tokyo a stretch too far for a day trip, will be glad to know that Ashikaga has its own ambient 80-metre tunnel of hanging white fuji. Bloomin’ marvellous!
 
Fuji season mid April-end May.

607 Hasama Town / Ashikaga City / Tochigi Prefecture / +81 284 91 4939 / ashikaga.co.jp/en

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