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Stunning Wisteria-viewing Spots in Japan

2024-02-13

Japan might be best known for its springtime sakura (cherry blossom) displays, but there's another seasonal star to help plan your itinerary. Beautiful wisteria gardens across the country offer stunning displays of these cascading, colorful flowers — ranging from purple and violet to pink, blue, white, and even yellow. Wisteria tunnels formed by blooms hanging from overhead trellises, centuries-old trees that spread across vast swathes of the garden, and illuminations after dark are some of the highlights of Japan's best wisteria festivals.

The peak time to see these beauties is from mid-April to early May, depending on where you are in the country. Here's a list of some of the top places to see wisteria in Japan.

 

1. Ashikaga Flower Park (Tochigi)

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Spring is when Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi has its moment in the spotlight. During its annual Fujinohana Monogatari Ofuji Festival, the park becomes a spectrum of purples, pinks, blues, and whites, blooming across 350 trees from mid-April to mid-May at slightly different times.
It is particularly famous for its 160-year-old Great Wisteria, which has a canopy covering 1,000 square meters. Once the daylight fades, it is beautifully lit. For the best of both worlds, visit just before sunset to see it lit by daylight and then by the illuminations.

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The flower park also has wisteria trellises and tunnels from which the blooms hang over you. The park is home to Japan’s only bright yellow kibana wisteria tunnel, which is best seen in early May. There are plenty of other blooms to see as well, with more than 5,000 azalea bushes that show their colors from mid-April to early May.

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Fujinohana Monogatari Ofuji Festival 2024

Date
April 13–May 15, 2024
(illumination dates: April 20–May 12, 2024) 
Entrance fee
1,100–2,200 JPY *fluctuates depending on date

 

2. Kawachi Wisteria Garden (Fukuoka)

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Kawachi Wisteria Garden in Fukuoka is a private garden that opens to the public in late April and early May to showcase its two 100-meter-long tunnels of wisteria trees of several varieties. Later in the year, it reopens when its maple leaves are at their most colorful. The garden attracts many visitors for its dreamy atmosphere and hillside views over the sea, so advanced reservations are required.

Kawachi Wisteria Garden 2024 Season

Date
April 20–May 6, 2024 (scheduled)
Entrance fee
1,500 JPY

 

3. Byodo-in Temple (Kyoto)

Byodo-in Temple in Kyoto is one of the most popular spots in the prefecture for viewing wisteria. From mid-April to early May, the wisteria blooms drape elegantly over the temple's trellises, offering plenty of opportunities for beautiful photos. The temple grounds have three wisteria trellises, including a pond-side wisteria tree that is said to be 280 years old. Its wisteria blooms can grow more than one meter long, almost sweeping the ground below. The gardens also have azaleas and cherry trees that bloom during spring, making it well worth going out of your way to visit.

 

4. Kameido Tenjin-sha Shrine (Tokyo)

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Kameido Tenjin-sha Shrine in Tokyo’s Koto Ward is a beautiful spot to visit year-round, but it's never more beautiful than during the wisteria season. The shrine is dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane, a deity associated with learning and academia. It has a stunning Japanese garden complete with charming vermillion bridges, ponds, and trellises of wisteria vines that create tunnels during the blooming season.

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The best time to visit Kameido Tenjin-sha Shrine for the wisteria is between late April and early May. They host the Kameido Tenjin Wisteria Festival when the flowers bloom, and you can even see the wisteria beautifully lit up at night.

Kameido Tenjin Wisteria Festival

Date
Mid-April to early May
Entrance fee
Free
*2024 details TBA

 

5. Mandaraji Park (Aichi)

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Konan Wisteria Festival at Mandaraji Park, next to Mandara-ji Temple in Aichi, is held annually from mid-April to early May. The park has around 60 wisteria plants and 11 different species, ensuring blooms from very early to very late in the season. These wisteria trellises are illuminated at night to spectacular effect. Throughout wisteria season, the park also blooms with more than 200 colorful peonies, adding depth to the floral displays.

Konan Wisteria Festival

Date
April 15–May 5, 2024
Entrance fee
Free

 

6. Shirai Omachi Fuji Park (Hyogo)

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Shirai Omachi Fuji Park is one of the most popular spots in Asago City, Hyogo, for viewing wisteria. For a small fee, you’ll have access to the 7,000-square-meter park, with wisteria covering a 500-meter stretch of the grounds. The park is known for its particularly lengthy wisteria blooms, which can grow up to one meter long, and its scenic mountain backdrop, which makes it one of the most photogenic spots for wisteria viewing. The rest of the area is made up of other flower beds, including expanses of daffodils that bloom around the same time.

Shirai Omachi Fuji Park 2024 Season

Date
Late April to early May
Entrance fee
500 JPY
*2024 details TBA

 

7. Shindachijuku Wisteria Garden (Osaka)

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If you want to escape the crowds that often flock to major wisteria festivals but still get the full wisteria experience, Shindachijuku Wisteria Garden in Osaka is a great pick. This quaint spot was once the well-tended garden of a local, Masahiro Kajimoto, who let fellow locals into his garden to enjoy the wisteria. After his passing, the community worked together to maintain his garden. It was subsequently opened to the public for more people to enjoy the fruits of his labor. As well as being a beautiful story, it’s a stunning and unusual spot to enjoy one of Japan’s most beautiful flower seasons.

Shindachijuku Wisteria Garden Festival

Date
Mid- to late April
Entrance fee
Free, but 100 JPY donations are requested to help preserve the garden
*2024 details TBA