An Intoxicating Floral Outing: Ashikaga Flower Park’s 2018 “Great Wisteria Festival” Is Now Open
The “Great Wisteria” at Ashikaga Park is over 150 years old. Over the course of the month, the different colors of wisteria in the park bloom one by one: pale red, purple, white, and then yellow.
Ashikaga Flower Park’s colorful flower displays change with the seasons, making it a popular destination for both domestic and overseas tourism. The park’s wisteria trellises are particularly impressive, home to an amazing 350 individual plants.
Each year, the park holds an event called “Wisteria Story: The Great Wisteria Festival” as the wisteria blossoms open. This year, Wisteria Story began four days earlier than expected, on April 14, and will run until May 20.
The “Great Wisteria” is over 150 years old, covering a trellis the size of 600 tatami mats. In 2018, it came into bloom on April 6, ten days ahead of schedule. In fact, according to the park’s historical records, this is the earliest the Great Wisteria has ever blossomed—a sign of how warm this year’s spring has been.
There’s plenty of other wisteria to see as well. The park boasts an 80-meter white wisteria tunnel, as well as another tunnel lined with golden chain (known as kibana fuji or “yellow-flowered wisteria” in Japanese).
In 2014, Ashikaga Flower Park’s beauty won it a spot on CNN’s “Dream Destinations”—the only Japanese location to be included that year. The weekends are always crowded, but during the light-up period (which ends Sunday May 13), visitors arriving after 5:30 p.m. receive a 300-yen discount on their entry fee.
You can check the current state of the flowers at any time on the park’s website. Why not treat yourself to an intoxicating floral getaway this spring?
Wisteria Festival: The Great Wisteria 2018
Address: 607 Hasama-cho, Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture
Telephone: +81 (0)284-91-4939
Dates: Until May 20 (Sun), 2018 (open every day during festival period)
Opening hours: 7:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. during light-up period between April 14 and May 13)
Note: Shuttle bus service available daily from Ashikagashi Station on the Tobu Isezaki Line