Named as one of the dream destinations by CNN, the Ashikaga Flower Park in Tochigi Japan is home to two of the oldest wisteria trees in the world. The wisteria blooms few weeks after the cherry blossoms and always coincides with the celebration of the Golden Week.
let down your pink hair
from hundred year old tower -
the touch of the elf
turns pink to purple or white
oh dear Rapunzel-stiltskin
Allow me to quote something about the wisteria -
Wisteria are called fuji in Japanese, like Mt. Fuji, but unlike the mountain, the flower is pronounced by stressing the second syllable. One of the best places to view fuji flowers is the Ashikaga Flower Park (あしかがフラワーパーク) in Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture. Ashikaga Flower Park features lots of blue, white and pink fuji, as well as yellow laburnum (Japanese: kingusari) that look like yellow colored fuji. more here
As mentioned above, there are different kinds of wisteria. I need a cheat sheet in order to properly identify these flowers. It’s tough you know. One of them is the double-petal wisteria. Oftentimes, they are mistaken as grapes. Nature can be deceiving.
Then there’s the light pink wisteria. When you kept staring on it, you will be hypnotized. It will lead you to an imaginary bedroom where you can relax and interact with nature.
Purple wisteria is quite more popular than the light pink one. Maybe because it is more colorful. Or can be easily noticed and looks good on photos.
The white wisteria is about to bloom when I went there. The park has a tunnel of white wisteria but since it is not yet in full bloom, I wasn’t able to appreciate it.
And of course, the main attraction in Ashikaga Flower Park is the the 140-year old wisteria tree. The way the flowers dangle, being swayed by the end, is an amazing experience. True, it’s like in a fantasy world. Perhaps these trees inspired the settings of some fairy tales. No doubt it is very popular.
I have to say that Japanese really love flowers. This is one of the most crowded parks I’ve been to. Walking is faster than driving. Traffic is worst. So I recommend traveling by train in going to the park. It may be a 3-hour ride from Tokyo but it’s definitely worth the travel.
The more-than-a-century-old tree is being guarded by a mini-shrine. I think this is the Japanese way of thanking the gods protecting the tree and continuously providing the flowers during spring. Click here for the video I made.
Next year, I will try to experience the illumination. I wish the park is closer to Tokyo so it won’t be a problem catching the last train. Though I must admit, taking photos of wisteria is very challenging.
Lastly, it may be completely random but - HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the mothers in the world.
Photos taken with Nikon D7000,
lenses used :
Nikkor 105mm 2.8f
Nikkor 18-300mm 3.5f
Tamron 11-16 mm 2.8f
Nikkor 10.5 mm 2.8f