Japan's wisteria season is in full bloom, and they're giving Japan's cherry blossoms a run for its money. Now that it's spring and the weather is warmer, wisteria has been blossoming everywhere. And it pretty much looks like Japan has been transformed into a fairy kingdom.
Wisteria blooms between April and May, meaning there are ample opportunities to catch the springtime magic. The flowers are native to Japan, China, Korea and the Eastern U.S. And they're pretty much worth traveling all the way around the world to see.
There are two main wisteria wonderlands in Japan. The Ashikaga Flower Park, which is accessible from Tokyo via a short train ride, holds a Great Wisteria Festival from April 15th to May 22nd. The festival touts over 350 wisteria trees, all in full bloom.
But if the floral paradise wasn't enough, the festival is also known for it's night-time light up wisteria display. Plus the onsite cafe offers wisteria-flavored noodles, so you can experience the sight, smell and taste of these pretty flowers. Um, is this heaven?
The wisteria in the Ashikaga Flower Park is over 150 years old. The park also has a 80 meter long white wisteria tunnel and a Kibana wisteria tunnel (which is the only one in Japan). Which pretty much means that this garden is the perfect backdrop for the most romantic engagement photos.
The Kawachi Fujien Wisteria Garden in Kitakyushu also turns into a flower aficionado's dream in April and May. Between April 22nd and May 7th, the flower garden is open and blooming. Because the private garden is so popular, tickets have to be reserved in advance.
The garden is only open seasonally. Visitors are welcome in April and May during wisteria season, of course. But if you miss the garden then, you're SOL until autumn when the garden opens again for the maple leaf season.
Wisteria is a vine known for it's pink, purple or white fragrant flowers. While wisteria typically blooms in the spring, it can sometimes blossom well into the summer months. Also a fast grower, some wisteria can grow up to 10 feet in a year.
Even more amazing, some varieties of wisteria are edible, while other varieties of wisteria are highly poisonous. Edible wisteria has even been used to make wine. This plant is both beautiful and delicious! (Except for the poison kind. Never eat the poison kind).
In the Victorian era, different flowers were used to communicate different meanings and ideas. Red roses meant love. Yellow roses meant friendship. Because wisteria's vines have a choking-like nature, wisteria was used to symbolize, “passionate love or obsession." Yikes!
They make Japan look as if it's been transformed into something out of a Dr. Seuss book. It's no surprise that these fragrant gardens attract visitors from all over the world! Who wouldn't want to promenade through this floral wonderland?
There are no words to describe the majesty of nature. All the beauty of the sweeping wisteria tunnels stem from Mother Earth's own creations. Which proves that heaven can be found on earth, and all the paradise we could ever hope to find lives right in our own backyards.