Sunday, May 10, 2015

Wisteria

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.

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Fairytale

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

/totomai


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
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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.  

/totomai 2015/05/10 

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


58 comments:

  1. wow - awesome pics - i LOVE wisteria - i have one winding her way up to my balcony... and it's a bit like in a fairy tale... such beauty...

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    1. So true Claudia - I feel lots of stories were inspired by wisteria. Hope you'll have a great bloom this year.

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  2. Wisteria do not grow so far North as we are.. they are truly lovely, and yes the ties to Rapunzel is great.

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    1. Wisteria is mystical. Perhaps Rapunzel's hair is like wisteria. Just my silly imagination.

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  3. ah...i was waiting for this...to have this out of the world feeling...thank you totomai :)

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    1. Haha Thanks Sumana. Took two weeks to finally write about it.

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  4. The photographs are soothing to eyes and your poem is soothing to soul:)

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    1. Aw. Thanks Vandana! Much appreciated :)

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  5. Gorgeous and uplifting as ever Totomai..i was captivated by the unfurling of the pink hair..a real fairytale..

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    1. Thanks Jae - hoping that the photos make you and Alice feel better. Cheers!

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  6. What a delight it is walk with you as you find the most beautiful places to photograph.

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    1. My pleasure Robin. Hopefully I can share more other than the flowers lol :)

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  7. Stunning images...thanks for sharing them Totomai. I liked the Rapunzel reference too!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the reference. :)

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  8. This is delightful..! :D
    Such stunning pictures..
    Wishing you happy mother's day :D
    xoxo

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    1. Thanks Sanaa. Will extend your mother's day greetings to my mom hehe

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  9. O! The wisteria in my yard is equally full and dangling! I love your poem combining the Rapunzel and Rumpelstiltskin experiences into one long-haired flower.

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    1. Both characters were in one way. related to a long-haired heroine. So I tried to play with it.

      Thanks Susan and enjoy the beauty of wisteria. Take lots of photos.

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  10. What stunning photos, Totomai! You really captured so many facets of the beauty of wisteria. And I like the metaphor of your poem, the fairytale metaphor!

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    1. So difficult to capture them Mary. I almost stopped taking photos as I was very frustrated lol

      Thanks again and happy mother's day.

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  11. Wow and wow, I want to go there and get lost in the beauty of the blooms ~ Thanks for the backgrounder and journey Totomai ~ Happy weekend ~

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    1. Book your next ticket to Japan, Grace. Thanks kabayan and happy mother's day.

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  12. what loveliness you bring to the experience of visiting your blog. gracias for sharing what otherwise would be distant from my 'wheel well' of my mundane experience. have a lovely day mi amigo

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    1. My pleasure to share my world to everyone Marco :) Thanks and have a lovely week ahead.

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  13. you have wowed me totally, this i would like to see in person

    thanks for this gorgeous sharing and i'm happy you dropped in at my Sunday Lime

    much love...

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    1. Thanks too Gillena. I am still curious what would it look like if in 100% full bloom...

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  14. Stunning pics, lovely post. Thank you.
    Anna :o]

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  15. Beautifully awesome and inspiring. Thank you for this wonderful share.
    ZQ

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    1. Always a pleasure to share. Thanks

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  16. Magnificent photos...I love wisteria. In the town where i live, there are also yellow wisteria.......it would be glorious to see so many together in a park, as you have done....here there are just single trees planted here and there, each one stunning.

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    1. You are right Sherry, there's a yellow wisteria but I couldn't see it when I went there. Maybe next time. I like its scent too

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  17. I think I am in flower heaven....cherry blossoms and now wisteria...so mystical and fairy-like....it looks like a cascade of pink rain in some pictures...just fabulous totomai.

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    1. Haha thanks Donna. It's spring so I have no choice but to blog about flowers haha :)

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  18. Awesome pics you got here! It's so beautiful. Thank you for sharing :)

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  19. Absolutely amazing pictures and plants. Thanks for sharing your part of the world.

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    1. Will continue to do so Gail :) Thanks

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  20. Fantastic shots!! Thanks for sharing...I don't think we get wisteria in our part of the world. At least, haven't seen them in kolkata.

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    1. Thanks Panchali - enjoy the photos in the meantime. I bet Kolkata has lots of flowers too :)

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  21. very cool poem. I dig the appearance of the elf!

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  22. I will send this to my niece who lives in Japan. Beautiful!

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    1. She will surely like the place :)

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  23. A tribute to a beautiful plant. We has two wisteria in our yard when I was growing up, one purple and one white, and they were always so beautiful. I loved looking at the photos in your blog here. And thank you for visiting my blog.

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    1. Thanks Peggy - that must be a beautiful view while you were growing up. :)

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  24. What a wonderful trip to park! Thank you so much, Totomai! I really believe one can get hypnotisied by flowers. Learn about fuji and enjoyed the video. Love visiting flower parks! xx

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    1. Not to mention the smell / scent of the flowers. Great experience. Thanks

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  25. it is beautiful... wish it grew better where I live

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  26. Very clever incorporation of Rapunzel and 'let down your [pink] hair'--love that unique combination--what a fairy tale you've conjured!!

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    1. Thanks CC. was thinking of some long haired characters to represent wisteria :)

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any thoughts to distill?

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