こんばんは！This week, there are three holidays in a row (Constitution Day, Green Day, and Child’s Day) that come together into what the Japanese call Golden Week. This year, it’s awesome – we get Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday off!
So Wednesday afternoon I went to the Ashikaga Flower Park with my friend Katie to see the wisteria!
The Tale of Fuji no Hana (The Tale of the Wisteria) lasts from mid-April to mid-May in the park. The entrance fee changes pretty drastically depending on the time of the year, but during Golden Week it costs 1,700円 to enter during the day and 1,400円 to enter after 5:30, when they turn on lights to illuminate the flowers.
We were there from around 4pm to 6pm, and honestly, I enjoyed the flowers more in the natural light! (It also started to get much, much more crowded around 5pm, so if you don’t like crowds, you should go earlier.)
Since everyone gets Golden Week off, the train to Tomita Station was jam-packed – and it was a good thing we were all going to the same place, because we literally could not escape the flood of people exiting the train and the station! From there it was about a 15-minute walk to the park. It was again confirmed to me that my face is “generic Asian”; the lady in the ticket booth held up the Japanese, English, Thai, and Chinese maps and asked me which one I needed!
As we swept in with the tide of people, we passed through a shopping area bursting with purple wisteria-flavoured and -scented snacks and toiletries. Circumstances (and my wallet) kept me from really perusing this section, but I was okay with it; it was too crowded for me!
There was also a stand selling wisteria-flavoured ice cream (again, skipped it, but it was a very pretty shade of purple) and a beautiful nursery that my mother would have spent hours exploring:
The wisteria trees themselves were absolutely gorgeous! There were white wisteria trees…AND THE PARK IS SO HUGE AND IT WAS SO BUSY AND CROWDED THAT WE COMPLETELY MISSED THE TUNNEL OF WHITE WISTERIA! I’M ABSOLUTELY HEARTBROKEN! So now I guess I’ll have to go again next year! (oh darn 😉 )
A bridge shaded by pink wisteria:
And of course, purple wisteria!:
As we continued through the park, dodging people stopped to take pictures every two feet, we made it to the first giant wisteria. I was absolutely enchanted by sight of the wisteria dripping from the trellises like soft rain:
Two of the huge wisteria trees (1,000 meters square in size) were 150 years old!
There was also a double flowered wisteria (apparently, it’s globally rare):
A wisteria dome:
And several other beautiful trellises:
There were also restaurants, cafes, and shops scattered throughout:
And other gorgeous flowers besides the wisteria:
And there were tons of bees! (Did you know, they call big fuzzy bumblebees kumabachi, which basically means “bear-bees”!) They were lovely, not at all afraid of all the people, calm and just interested in doing their bee-thing. This lil guy had a bit of pollen stuck on his back!:
The park was absolutely wonderful, and it was made so much more wonderful because I got to explore it with my lovely friend Katie!
And we hid under the trees, heehee:
Definitely the perfect first day of a long holiday!
If you’re interested in visiting the flower park, check out their website here for their information!
Until next time! またね！
(I found the single tendril long enough to reach meeeeee!)