The Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi, Japan, is home to a famous wisteria tree that is deemed “the most beautiful in the world.” The massive tree measures an impressive 1,990 square meters and gives its environment a purplish-pink shadow when in full bloom. Its vertical flowers also hang so far down, they almost touch the ground.
The wisteria, also known as Fuji in Japan, is one of the most beloved spring flowers in the country. For Japanese people, it represents love and beauty. It also symbolizes victory and immortality. Millions of tourists flock to Japan specifically in the spring to see the breathtaking sakura flower trees and wisteria trees.
At the center of Ashikaga park is its main attraction – the “Great Miracle Wisteria” that looks so majestic, it’s almost hard to believe it’s been around for nearly 150 years. It’s also believed to be the oldest living wisteria in Japan.
It’s the largest in the country though not the largest in the world, a title held by a wisteria tree in Sierra Madre, California, measuring at about 4,000 square meters. Although they’re referred to as a “tree” and can look like one, wisterias are actually a vine.
Since they can become really heavy, caretakers built beams to support the weight of its branches and help it stay upright. This placement formed a lovely flower umbrella that dangles and sways with the blowing of the wind. The overhanging vines allows visitors to walk below the canopy and enjoy the pinkish-purple light cast by its blooms.
If they stand underneath it and look up, they shall be treated to a view of a pink flower sky. With its ethereal vibe, it’s no surprise that it has become the favorite subject of landscape photographers around the world.
The Ashikaga Flower Park, which covers 23 acres, is one of the most popular flower parks in Japan. Its environment is home to 350 wisteria trees of different varieties and other flowering plants.
These vines produce flowers in many colors – purple, blue, white, pink, and yellow. When they’re in full bloom, the entire park transforms into an enchanting and colorful paradise that radiates with diverse hues.
The magnificent trees in the park are lit up during the Great Wisteria Festival, which is held from April to May. In 2016, Ashikaga park was named as the most beautiful night view in Japan.
Wisteria gardens are scattered around the country. Some of the most beautiful ones are at Kawachi Fuji Gardens and in Kitakyushu. The latter features flower tunnels spanning 330 square feet where visitors can walk through.
The best time to see the Ashikaga wisteria is from mid-April to mid-May, as springtime is the season when it’s in full bloom. During this time, it produces fragrant purple blossoms that fill the park’s environment.
However, the park has been temporarily closed since April 13 because of the coronavirus pandemic. It will remain so until further notice, according to an announcement from the Ashikaga Flower Park website.
The park is open from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., but these hours are extended during the peak blooming months. Visitors can get there within two hours from central Tokyo via public transportation.
From Tokyo Station, take the Tohoku Shinkansen to Oyama. Board the Ryomo Line going west to Tomita Station. From there, walking to the park will take 5 to 10 minutes. It’s especially crowded during the festival, so it’s recommended that guests get there early in the morning to avoid the rush.
You may visit the Ashikaga Flower Park website for more information about the flowers currently in bloom.