Japan's Wisteria Tunnels Are Even More Magical Than Its Cherry Blossoms

Here's where to see the best blooms in April and May.

Every spring, travelers from around the world visit Japan to see the country's cherry blossoms, but the season also brings several other stunning blooms to admire.

Wisteria, known as fuji in Japanese, may only be the country's second most famous flower, but thanks to their ability to bend, wisteria can be turned into large tunnels of blue, pink, purple, and white to make for a kaleidoscopic stroll.

Wisterias in Japan
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While peak blooming periods can vary depending on the temperature, lucky visitors may be able to catch Japan's cherry blossoms and wisteria blooms in one trip.

Wisteria typically bloom around late April and early May, with slight variations depending on the type of wisteria in bloom.

Ashikaga Flower Park

Wisterias in Japan
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Ashikaga Flower Park is the only location in Japan with a Kibana wisteria tunnel visitors can walk underneath. It's also home to more than 350 different wisteria trees that bloom in colors ranging from light violets and pinks to purples, whites, and bright yellows.

The park also has a 150-year-old wisteria tree and more than 5,000 azalea bushes that can be admired around the same time.

See the wisteria between mid-April and mid-May, with admission ranging from 900 to 1,800 yen (about $7 to $14) for adults and between 500 and 900 yen (about $4 to $7) for children depending on the day of the visit.

Visitors can also head to the park in the evening to see the wisteria lit up at night, making for a striking view. You can even sample wisteria-themed soft serve and goodies while at the park.

Kawachi Wisteria Garden

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Another popular tunnel is at the Kawachi Wisteria Garden in Kitakyushu. The park is home to 22 different kinds of wisteria that bloom and peak from the end of April through mid-May.

Its two tunnels meet to form a large dome, creating a sea of colors to walk beneath.

Prices start at 500 yen (about $4) per person and may include an additional charge based on the flowering conditions on the day of the visit.

Wisterias in Japan
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The park is also popular in the fall, when maple trees and autumn leaves create magnificent foliage on its grounds.

Tennogawa Park

Wisterias in Japan
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There are a few public parks that make for prime viewing locations, including Tennogawa Park in the city of Tsushima in the Aichi Prefecture. From the end of April to early May the Owari Tsushima Wisteria Festival is held.

Shirai Oomachi Fuji Park

Shirai Oomachi Fuji Park sits on the slope of a mountain in the Hyōgo Prefecture of Japan's Kansai region. Here, some of the wisteria clusters can grow to be almost five feet in length, making for a wonderful scene as they sway with the wind.

Kameido Tenjin Shrine

Even the country's temples and shrines debut the colorful displays in the spring. Tokyo's Kameido Tenjin Shrine is a popular stop for wisteria viewing, thanks to its lavender-colored wisteria that hang in bunches from trellises overlooking a pond that reflects the colorful scene.

The wisteria here were planted during the Edo period (1603 through 1867) and continue to attract locals and visitors today during the Kameido Tenjin Shrine Wisteria Festival, which typically runs mid-April through early May.

Byodoin Temple

Wisteria are also popular within the Kyoto Prefecture at locations such as the Byodoin Temple. Located in Uji, the temple has multiple wisteria trellises, some of which are said to be 280 years old. Some of its longest clusters have grown more than three feet in length, creating the appearance of a cascading purple waterfall.

Kamitoba Sewage Treatment Plant

Another popular location for wisteria viewing in Kyoto may come as a surprise.

For several days each year, the Kamitoba Sewage Treatment Plant offers public viewings of the wisteria. The location is popular thanks to a 120-meter-long tunnel of wisteria visitors can walk through.

Japan isn't the only location to witness wisteria blooms, however. The flowers bloom in various locations, including within the United States at Pennsylvania's Longwood Gardens and New York City's Central Park.

The Argory estate in Northern Ireland and the gardens of the Great Fosters Hotel in Surrey, England, are also known to offer lovely wisteria views.

And if you do make it to Japan to catch the wisteria blooms this spring, consider also checking out the Fuji Shibazakura Festival. From mid-April to the end of May, the foot of Mount Fuji is adorned with more than 500,000 shibazakura (a type of flowering moss) that blanket the ground in pink, purple, and white.

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