Sam's Japan Travel Journal
by Sam, staff writer of japan-guide.com

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2017/04/27 - Wisteria Watching at Ashikaga Flower Park

Today I traveled to Ashikaga Flower Park in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture to take in some of the floral delights the park has to offer. The park boasts spectacular displays of seasonal flowers at various points throughout the year, but is particularly well known for its wisteria flowers that typically come into full bloom around late April to mid May and invariably draw in droves of flower fanatics.

The park can be reached from central Tokyo in under two hours if riding the shinkansen, and in around two and half hours using local trains. The relatively easy accessibility of the park makes it a great day trip idea for those staying in the capital. It is advised however to arrive early during peak seasons, as the park can get packed!

Wandering among wisteria
The park's famous old wisteria tree
Looking pretty but not yet in full bloom

I arrived this morning just as the park opened and immediately went in search of wisteria. I didn't have to look far before I found myself under one of the numerous wisteria trellises about the park, including one made up partly of the park's famous old purple wisteria that is over a century old. The wisteria today were a mixed bag, with many trees being at different stages of bloom. In general, the purple wisteria looked to be around a day or two from full bloom, whilst the pink wisteria seemed to be on the verge of full bloom.

A bridge covered by pink wisteria
The pink wisteria looking on the verge of full bloom
Under a wisteria canopy
Some wisteria ahead of others and looking great

I got chatting with one of the park staff and she revealed the expected best viewing dates of some of the park's varieties of wisteria. According to her, the purple wisteria are generally expected be in full bloom until late next week, whilst the white wisteria's best viewing period is estimated to be from May 1 to May 11. The yellow kingusari that resemble wisteria and make up the park's Tunnel of Golden Chain are not expected to enter their best viewing stage until the week after next. These estimations made sense looking around the park this morning, with the white wisteria and yellow kingusari trees generally looking bereft of petals.

The Tunnel of White Wisteria tunnel still looking a little bare
According to the park's estimations, the white wisteria should reach their optimum viewing stage next week
Great place for sitting
The yellow "wisteria" tunnel still has a way to go before coming into bloom
The park sells its own carbonated drink to compliment the wisteria season

Wisteria aside, the park is packed with a wide variety of flowers, many of them looking to be spectacularly in full bloom at the moment and giving the park a tinge of vivid color at every turn. There are even a few late-blooming cherry trees dotted about the grounds for good measure. The park is lit up every evening from 17:30 until 21:00, ending May 14th, meaning now is a great time to visit, by day or night.

The park's flowerbeds were attracting a lot of attention this morning
More beautiful flowers
The park was starting to fill up by mid morning
There were a smattering of late-blooming cherry blossoms about the park today, too

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List of Posts:
2018/11/12 - Scandinavian-themed complex opens its doors
2018/10/25 - Kofukuji's Central Golden Hall open to the public
2018/10/13 - Toyosu Market Opens to the Public
2018/01/26 - Mt. Fuji World Heritage Center Opens

2017/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2017
2017/12/04 - Exploring Japan's Tea Town
2017/11/10 - Exploring the Galapagos of the East
2017/10/16 - Getting lost in rural Japan
2017/07/27 - On the road in Tohoku: Driving through Miyagi and Yamagata
2017/06/22 - Mount Shirane reopens for exploration
2017/05/30 - Exploring Nikko
2017/04/27 - Wisteria Watching at Ashikaga Flower Park
2017/04/24 - Nemophila flowers at Hitachi Seaside Park
2017/02/21 - Tokyo Early Spring Update
2017/02/16 - Renovations start at Kiyomizudera's main hall
2017/02/09 - Crane Watching in Kushiro
2017/02/07 - 2017 Asahikawa Winter Festival
2017/02/06 - 2017 Otaru Snow Light Path Festival
2017/02/06 - 2017 Sapporo Snow Festival
2017/01/16 - Early Blooming in Atami

2016/12/31 - Travel Highlights 2016
2016/09/13 - Walking the Roots of Japan
2016/07/28 - Hakone Update
2016/04/26 - Tonami Tulip Fair 2016
2016/04/19 - Kyoto Railway Museum