Wisteria bloom is almost as popular in Japan as iconic Sakura Matsuri. Late spring is the time when the Japanese celebrate the short wisteria blooming season by walking under the clusters of pale red, purple and white flowers that blend together into a sea of pastel hues.
Ashikaga Flower Park, located in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture, two hours away from Tokyo, is the biggest and the best place in Japan to enjoy the magical wisteria bloom. These flowering plants were grown in Japan for centuries. Ashikaga even has a wisteria tree that is over 150 years old. The garden is famous for its rare Yae Wisteria trellis, and iconic Kibana wisteria tunnel visitors. At night, wisteria tunnels have dazzling illumination that makes the experience even more magical to walk within. Overall, the park has more than 350 different wisteria trees of various colors.
Wisteria grows in many private and public gardens all over Japan. In addition to Ashikaga, you can see some impressive flower displays in Kawachi Fuji Garden in Kitakyushu, about five hours away from Tokyo. The garden is home to over 150 flowering wisteria plants of about 20 different colors (white, violet-blue, blue, purple, and pink). Colorful and graceful, wisteria tunnels of Kawachi attract thousands of visitors during the blooming season.
In Tokyo, you can enjoy magical wisteria blooms at Kameido Tenjin Shrine in Koto ward. There are about 100 blooming trees at the shrine. Every May, Kameido Tenjin Shrine Wisteria Festival gathers thousands of people at this historic site.
Wisteria, or fuji in Japanese, plays an important role in Japan's culture and traditions. Fuji Musume or Wisteria Maiden is the famous classical dance of the Kabuki theater. Pictures of Wisteria Maiden are popular and are believed to bring good luck.