This year’s cherry blossoms were early, so they’ve already come and gone, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing else to see this season. Spring has a number of colourful blooms popping up in and around the Greater Tokyo region, with stunning wisteria, colourful tulips and a sea of nemophila all currently in bloom.
Spring flowers have been blooming earlier than usual this year, and the wisteria are no exception. The annual Fujinohana Monogatari Ofuji Festival 2021 at Ashikaga Flower Park is set to be held ahead of schedule and will officially begin on Thursday April 15.
The park is one of Japan’s top destinations for wisteria, boasting 350 trees which bloom from mid-April to mid-May. The stunning flowers are dangled from wooden trellises and feature violet, blue, pink, white and yellow blossoms. Each colour tends to bloom at different times: pink first, followed by purple, white and then yellow wisteria.
A must-see is the park’s magnificent 150-year-old wisteria tree, which is even lit up in the evenings and surrounded by still water that reflects the colourful flowers. This ofuji, or Great Wisteria Tree, has a canopy covering about 1,000sqm and features a jaw-dropping 80,000 individual purple blossoms.
The park is also home to a dreamy 80m-long wisteria walk, featuring white blooms drooping over you from the trellis above.
If white’s not your thing, check out Japan's only kibana wisteria tunnel. Best seen from early May, the arched tunnel is covered with kibana wisteria flowers that are a brilliant, bright yellow.
Aside from the wisteria, Ashikaga Flower Park also boasts an impressive collection of azaleas, with more than 5,000 bushes around the wisteria trees. The azaleas bloom from mid-April to early May and there are approximately 1,000 different varieties in the park.
The Fujinohana Monogatari Ofuji Festival runs from April 15 through to May 23 with the light-up period from April 17 to May 16. Entrance fees vary depending on the date you visit and the status of the blooms, so be sure to check before you go. Daytime adult admission costs ¥900 to ¥1,600 (children ¥500-¥900), while evening admission costs ¥600 to ¥1,600 (children ¥300-¥800). Ashikaga Flower Park is roughly two hours by train from Tokyo.
For more festival information and updates on the flowers' progress, visit the official website.
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