Forget Cherry Blossoms — Japan’s Wisteria Gardens Are A Technicolor Must-See

As cherry blossom season comes to an end in Japan, it’s time to set your gaze on the prettiest thing blooming today. Wisteria is taking over and it’s absolutely gorgeous.

Growing in a range of blue, pink, purple, and white, people can experience these beauties up close, during their peak blooming season around late April and early May. This time of year people flock to Japan to experience the truly unique site.

Wisteria, known as fuji in Japanese, is the country’s second most famous flower mainly because of the beautiful way it grows. It has the ability to bend, according to Travel + Leisure, which means it grows hanging down and can be turned into technicolor tunnels.

You might question why, as wisteria technically grows right here in the United States. According to The Farmer’s Almana c, Japanese wisteria, Wisteria floribunda, is not native to North America and is considered an invasive species. The American alternative, of which pretty impressive displays can be seen at Pennsylvania’s Longwood Gardens or in New York City’s Central Park, isn’t as aggressive as the Japanese version. The abundance and display of blooms featured in Japan is almost impossible to replicate here.

In Japan, however, everything from parks to temples to even one sewage treatment plant become a place to take in it all in. Popular parks will charge a few dollars admission to come and witness all the beauty.

Visitors can plan their trip around what color wisteria they want to see. Pale red wisteria reaches full bloom around mid- to late-April, but white wisteria won’t reach full bloom until early May. You’ll have to wait until mid-May for the Kibana wisteria, which visitors can only walk underneath at the Ashikaga Flower Park.

Ashikaga Flower Park has more than 350 different types of wisteria trees. If you plan your trip just right, you can catch the end of the cherry blossoms, and the start of both wisteria and azalea season. The park has more than 5,000 azalea bushes to admire as well.

Photo: Vichai Phububphapan/Getty Images.

Wisteria festival at Ashikaga Flower Park runs only from April 13 to May 19. For an even smaller window of time, April 19 to May 12, visitors can see the park at night with the wisteria lit up. While the action will be going on above, look down every now and again to see the beautiful reflection in the water. Adults can visit for about $8 to $16 and kids for about $4 to $8.

Photo: DigitalVision/Getty Images.

Ashikaga Flower Park is also home to a 150-year-old wisteria tree. According to the website, it spans over a 1,000-square-meter trellis and a 90-meter-long white wisteria tunnel.

Photo: qrsk/Getty Images.

Kawachi Wisteria Garden is home to another popular wisteria tunnel. It has 22 different kinds of wisteria, and two tunnels that meet to form a large dome. Other places to see the blooms include Tennogawa Park, Shirai Omachi Fuji Park, and Kameido Tenjin Shrine.

Photo: Jef Wodniack/iStock.

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