Today, we take a day trip to Tochigi prefecture–about an hour and a half away from central Tokyo. Tochigi prefecture is more in the countryside and we all know the countryside in Japan means beautiful scenery and a chance for amazing photos.
We arrive at Ashikaga Flower Park where 23 acres of blooming flowers await us. The cherry blossoms have said their goodbyes and a new plethora of freshly bloomed, colorful flowers are born.
Ashikaga Flower Park is known for its impressive 350 Wisteria trees blanketing the area. There’s also one monster of a tree atop a hill that attracts tourists, travelers, and photographers from around the world. This tree is called the 140-year-old Great Miracle Wisteria.
Exploring Ashikaga Flower Park was like stepping into another world. The presentation of the flowers was on point, the park was clean, and the perfume of the gardens permeated the air.
Wisteria flowers come in different colors including purple, yellow, and white. The yellow wisteria bloom around Golden Week which is a few days of Japanese holidays. Everyone and their brother will be out and about during this time so be aware that if you go, there may be crowds and the entry price may rise.
If you have a phobia for bees, It may be a challenge to wander around the park but also keep in mind these bees are pretty harmless. They aren’t aggressive unless you start swatting one. I noticed many people put their faces in the flowers and nobody got hurt.
You can have a lovely lunch in the gardens of Ashikaga as well. Strawberries are in season so there’s plenty of strawberry flavored desserts such as ice-cream and shakes. You can also get your traditional Japanese takoyaki (octopus balls) and yakisoba (fried noodles).
Don't forget to try the Wisteria flavored ice-cream! Yes, you heard right - wisteria flavored ice-cream.
We visited the flowers around the end of April but the peak season is the start of May. You can also stay for the light-up display in the evening.
Ashikaga is also open during winter for their winter illumination.
If you know little about Wisteria trees, here are a few facts:
• Wisteria can climb to a height of 20 m above ground and spread up to 10 m across.
• You can eat some types of wisteria and can be used to make wine.
• Wisteria produces white, pink, purple or blue colored flowers
• Wisteria symbolizes “over passionate love or obsession.”
I hope you too can enjoy a day at Ashikaga Flower Park. Take a lot of pictures and hashtag lovelyzkelly to show me what you've captured!
Ashikaga Flower Park is a 13-minute walk from Tomita Station or a 5-minute walk from Ashikaga Flower Park station.
Times and price are always changing so click this link to go to their website and check ahead to make sure you go at the right time.