See Japan’s Wisteria in full bloom this spring

With Japan’s sakura season incoming, cherry blossom fever is catching on fast. The season doesn’t last for long though, with the best times for sakura viewing officially ending in mid-April.

Don’t be disappointed if you can only visit Japan from then onwards. Japan’s Wisteria season starts around mid-April to mid-May – and it’s just as magnificent as the sakura blossoms!

One of Japan’s most beloved spring flowers, the wisteria typically blooms from trellises in shades of purple, although you can find yellow, white and even pink sakura-coloured wisteria varieties in certain places. Here are 10 of the best spots to catch the magical wisteria in Japan this year!

1. Kawachi Fujien (Fukuoka)

Kawachi Fujien Fukuoka Wisteria

Image Credit: @hobopeeba on Instagram

Tucked away in the hills south of central Kitakyushu, the Kawachi Fujien botanical garden transforms in a truly spectacular fashion once the wisteria flowers come into bloom.

Open to the public for the wisteria season from April 20 to May 6 this year, the highlights of Kawachi Fujien include the two wisteria tunnels filled with various shades and colors of wisteria blossoms, as well as the outdoor wisteria trellises.

As the Kawachi Fujien gets very popular during this period, visitors are required to book timed tickets in advance for entry into the gardens. Book your advanced Kawachi Fujien timed tickets through Klook to ensure that you don’t miss out on this once-in-a-year experience!

Kawachi Fujien (Kawachi Wisteria Garden)
Address: Japan, 〒805-0045 Fukuoka, Kitakyushu, Yahatahigashi Ward, 河内2丁目2−48
Date: Mid-April – Mid-May

2. Ashikaga Flower Park (Tochigi)

Ashikaga Flower Park (Tochigi)

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Located about two hours out from Tokyo, the Ashikaga Flower Park is home to the Great Wisteria Festival. Set to roll out from 13 April to 19 May this year, this magical flower festival is one of CNN’s top 10 international dream destinations – and we can see why. The 94,000 square meter park has over 350 wisteria trees spread out over a trellis the size of 600 tatami mats!

Ashikaga Flower Park (Tochigi)

Photo Credit: YU-LI LIN on Flickr

For a glimpse of some special wisteria varieties, don’t miss the 80-meter white wisteria tunnel and the one-of-a-kind golden Kibana wisteria tunnel. The Great Wisteria Festival is also recognised as a National Heritage Night View spot – visit the park at night for a completely different wisteria viewing experience.

Ashikaga Flower Park (Tochigi)

Photo Credit: TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋) on Flickr

Book a combined Ashikaga Flower Park and Hitachi Seaside Park day tour for the best of both worlds. Aside from your transport to both parks all being settled, the tour includes an all-you-can-eat Tochiotome strawberry picking experience.

Bonus: the azalea bushes in the park will be in bloom at the same time! Find out more about the Great Wisteria Festival 2019 here.

Ashikaga Flower Park
Address: 607 Hasamacho, Ashikaga 329-4216, Tochigi Prefecture
Date: mid-April to mid-May

3. Kaimeido-Tenjin Shrine (Tokyo)

Kaimeido-Tenjin Shrine (Tokyo)

Image Credit: @tarini30 on Instagram

In Tokyo, the Kaimeido-Tenjin Shrine is a must-visit spot for wisteria. Tokyo’s wisteria blooms around the end of April – a week or so later than the Tochigi wisteria.

Flanked by plumes of wisteria blossoms, the three moon bridges that lead to the main shrine each represent the past, present and future. The purple blossoms are accompanied by bright azalea shrubs, which bloom in hues of deep pink and red.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Built in the 15th century, the shrine is a place of worship for the god of academic success, with many shrine visitors paying their respects and praying for success in their exams!

Kaimeido-Tenjin Shrine
Address: 3 Chome-6-1 Kameido, Koto City, Tokyo 136-0071, Japan
Date: late-April – mid-May

4. Tennogawa Park (Aichi)

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Located in the west of Nagoya, Tennogawa Park is the site of the annual Owari Tsushima Wisteria Festival. The park’s 275-meter wisteria trellis stretches out across the canal and is home to over a hundred wisteria trees in 12 different varieties.

During the wisteria festival period, the roads surrounding the park can get congested due to the influx of visitors and traffic limitations set by the government. Your best bet at getting to the festival is to get to the Meitetsu Tsushima station, before walking about 20 minutes to the park.

If you’re going to be travelling out to Nagoya from a different region, the Kintetsu Rail Pass is perfect for those exploring the Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Nagoya regions. There’s much more to see and do in Nagoya too!

Tennogawa Park
Address: 〒496-0853 1, Miyagawa-cho, Tsushima-City, Aichi
Date: 20 April to 5 May

5. Mandaraji Temple (Aichi)

Photo Credit: @desdejap0n on Instagram

The grounds surrounding the Mandaraji Temple are home to 60 Japanese wisteria trees, which reach their full beauty between late April to early May.

Photo Credit: @jennyaalden on Instagram

The wisteria trellises in the park were laid down over seven centuries ago, and remain a highlight of the temple grounds in spring till this day. Apart from the wisteria trellises, the Mandaraji Temple complex includes sculpted gardens and impressive temple buildings.

Photo Credit: @desdejap0n on Instagram

You can also spot lesser-seen green wisteria varieties amongst the shades of purple. The Mandaraji Temple wisteria festival is held on the grounds during this season, where you can find food stalls and visitors from all over Japan. Head down on a weekday to beat the crowds!

Mandaraji Temple/Park
Address: 202 Maehibocho Teramachi, Konan, Aichi Prefecture 483-8336, Japan
Date: Late April – early May

6. Fujii-dera Temple (Osaka)

Photo Credit: @tabokin on Instagram

The fifth temple on the Kansai Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage, Osaka’s Fujii-dera Temple is one of the region’s famous wisteria viewing spots. The temple’s wisteria rreaches full bloom around end-April, painting the tranquil temple grounds in shades of purple.

Photo Credit: @tabokin on Instagram

Coinciding with the wisteria season in mid-April, Fujii-dera Temple’s Thousand-Armed Kannon sculpture – one of the National Treasures of Japan – is displayed in a ceremony, and will remain visible to visitors for 18 days. During the celebration, priests will toss o-mochi rice balls from atop a wooden tower to the worshipers below, for good luck.

Maximise your time in Osaka with the Osaka Amazing Pass! This all-inclusive pass grants you entry to 30 iconic tourist sites, as well as unlimited transport on the subway, busses and trams in the city.

Fujii-dera Temple
Address: 1 Chome-16-21 Fujiidera, Osaka 583-0024, Japan
Date: mid-April – mid-May

7. Kasuga Taisha Shrine (Nara)

Photo Credit: Charlotte Marillet on Flickr

In all the varieties of wisteria, the “Kasugano fuji”, or wisteria of the Kasugano region in the Nara prefecture, is said to be one of the most beautiful.

Photo Credit: Charlotte Marillet on Flickr

At the Kasuga Taisha Shrine – Nara Park’s most celebrated shrine – you can explore the grounds shaded by canopies of wisteria blossoms, which descend from the trellises scattered around.Against the backdrop of the iconic bronze lanterns of the shrine that were donated by worshipers, the wisteria blossoms are best viewed from late-April onwards.

This picturesque stop is one of several on the Klook Nara Afternoon Tour from Osaka, which will take you to the famous Nara Deer Park and the Todai-ji Temple as well!

Kasuga Taisha Shrine
Address: 160 Kasuganocho, Nara, Nara Prefecture 630-8212, Japan
Date: mid-April to mid-May

8. Manyo Botanical Garden (Nara)

Image Credit: www.meandmytravelbugs.com/

Located right by the Kasuga Taisha Shrine, the Manyo Botanical Garden is another wisteria stop to see in the Nara prefecture. With a large part of the garden is dedicated to wisteria trees, take your time to stroll through the winding paths shaded by wisteria curtains.

You can spot both purple and white wisteria in the gardens – the white ones typically bloom a little later. Apart from wisteria, there are over 250 species of plants in the garden as well, which were mentioned in the Manyoshu, Japan’s oldest collection of poems!

Note: There’s an entrance fee of 500 yen into the botanical garden.

Manyo Botanical Gardens
Address: 160 Kasuganocho, Kasuga Grand Shrine, Nara 630-8212, Nara Prefecture
Date: mid-April to early May

9. Myofukuji Temple (Chiba)

Photo Credit: t.kunikuni on Flickr

Situated in the Chiba prefecture, Myofukuji Temple in one place in Tokyo’s eastern outskirts to catch some gorgeous wisteria blossoms. The wisteria trees on the temple grounds were planted over 700 years ago, and have added a pop of color to the traditional Buddhist temple ever since.

Photo Credit: t.kunikuni on Flickr

Wisteria season for the Myofukuji Temple begins at the start of May, and continues all the way to the end of the month. This makes it peak season for temple visitors, so head down early on a weekday if you can.

Myofukuji Temple
Address: 1465 Myokencho, Choshi City, Chiba Prefecture
Date: May

10. Kasukabe (Saitama)

Photo Credit: TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋) on Flickr

The town of Kasukabe in Saitama is famous for its beautiful Ushijima wisteria, which typically bloom in mid-April for a month. There are several sites around the city for wisteria viewing – such as the the wisteria in the Fujihana Garden, which is said to be over 1,200 years old.

Photo Credit: TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋) on Flickr

Some time around the last week of April, the Kasukabe Wisteria Festival kicks off along Wisteria Street, pulling in street performers, musicians and even a police band into the festivities. Last year’s festival was held on 22 April – check back on the Saitama Events Calendar for updates.

Kasukabe
Address: 〒344-0004 764-2, Ushijima, Kasukabe-shi, Saitama Fujihana garden
Date: mid-April – mid-May

Seek out Japan’s beautiful Wisteria

Step aside sakura season, Japan’s wisteria is set to take over soon enough. But if you can make it in time to catch the cherry blossoms, check out our 2019 Japan Cherry Blossom Forecast for tips on where the best spots are.

For your Japan adventures, the Klook JR Pass is an essential item for city-hopping and crossing the country. Our handy JR Pass Guide breaks down everything you need to know about the JR Pass – book the one best suited for you, and get set for your holiday!