Most famous for “Fuji no hana” — hanging wisteria — Ashikaga Flower Park has plants that flower throughout the year. It is one of the most famous flower-viewing spots in all of Japan.

The park’s authorities have created eight different themes — they call “stories” — that cover the whole year:

  • Heralding Spring (early January-late February): Plum blossoms and winter roses
  • Spring Flower Festival (early March-mid April): Tulips and cherry blossoms
  • Wisteria Story (mid-April-mid-May): Wisterias and azaleas
  • Rainbow Garden (mid-May-early June): Roses
  • Blue and White Garden (early June-early July): Irises and hydrangeas
  • Water Nymphs (early July-late September): Water lillies
  • Purple Garden (early October-late November): Pansies and amethyst sage
  • Bejeweled Flower Garden (end of October-late January): Violas, pansies and bonus winter illuminations

Ashikaga Great Wisteria Festival

The Ashikaga Great Wisteria Festival is by far the most popular event of the year. If you are planning to visit this stunning display, just be prepared to deal with crowds of people. Part of the reason so many people want to attend this specific flower display is that the wisteria is considered a symbol of love and longevity in Japanese culture.

A lucky quiet moment under the wisteria. | Photo by Jane Pipkin

The six different species of wisteria at the park are the country’s oldest and biggest: one of them is over 100 years old and its trellis covers an area of 1000 sq. meters (10763 sq. feet) while others, in various colors and shapes, account for a big part of the park’s beauty and fame.

As you’d expect in a country obsessed with light, they are also illuminated during the annual festival; the sight is simply stunning.

Tickets

Admission prices vary depending on the time of year. The adult admission price varies from ¥400 right up to ¥2,200, while children can get in from ¥200 to ¥1,100.

Pro tip: Instead of having to arrange entry, transport and food, put your feet up and enjoy this all-in-one day tour from Tokyo.

Shops

For those who want something more substantial than pictures, there are two gift shops on the premises.

The biggest one is at the park’s entrance/exit. Here, you will find everything wisteria-related, from sweets to purple teddy bears. If you’d like to start your own flower garden, there is also a large gardening shop — though it doesn’t sell wisteria seeds! Note that during the festival season, the main shop gets very busy, so you may have to line up for around 10 minutes or so to pay. 

Photo by Jane Pipkin

If you get hungry on your visit, there are also a few different places around the park to sit and grab food. Keeping with the theme of the festival, they serve wisteria-flavored ice cream and drinks. 

Photo by Jane Pipkin

Disclaimer: While we do our best to ensure it’s correct, information is subject to change.

Other Tochigi Attractions