Lonely Planet Writer

Forget cherry blossoms - go to Japan to see the incredible cascading wisteria tunnels

While Japan may be a popular spring destination for travellers eager to enjoy a picture perfect vacation under the famous cherry blossoms, there’s another beautiful flower that should have botanical lovers excited to visit the country.

Ashikaga's Great Wisteria Festival. Japan wisteria
Ashikaga’s Great Wisteria Festival. Image by Peter Lourenco/Getty Images

Japan is home to gorgeous wisteria flowers, which like cherry blossoms, come with fanfare and festivals. The Ashikaga Flower Park is home to the Great Wisteria Festival, which runs from 15 April to 21 May. The park is in Tochigi Prefecture, which is about an hour and a half drive from Tokyo and can be accessed by train.

There, visitors can admire the incredible colours of the hanging flowers, which drape the surroundings with purple, pink and white hues. The park contains wisteria that is more than 150 years old, and a wisteria tunnel that allows people to walk amidst the cascading flowers. According to its website, the park stays open in the evenings during April and May – depending on the condition of the flowers – when the park lights up at night. 

In the south of Japan, visitors can also head to the Kawachi Wisteria Garden in Kitakyushu. That park has a peak season from 22 April to 7 May, where guests must book a time slot in order to visit due to its popularity. That park also contains incredible tunnels of flowers that will inspire anyone who wants to bring a bit of spring to their life. 

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