Are you planning a trip to Japan? If yes, you mustn’t miss a walk in the most extraordinary flower garden in the world; this place is so beautiful to look like a painting. Situated in the Tochigi prefecture, 3 hours far from Tokyo, every year the park let breathless tourists from all over the world. Among its 'victims' seems to be also James Cameron Francis, Avatar director: here he found inspiration for the souls’ tree put in the movie.
It's called Ashikaga Flower Park and with its various flowers and trees covers 23 acres. However, a particular type of tree has made the park so famous: the wisteria or, as they call it in Japan, Fuji. This plant always played a fundamental role in the Japanese culture, known as one of the oldest trees in the region.
The park hosts more than 350 wisterias in shades of pink, purple, blue and white creating magical play of colors and fabulous atmospheres when they are blooming. The park's star is a very special wisteria, large and particularly long-lived: 144 years that made it grow to a width of 2000m2. The climbing branches are supported by special supports in order to allow visitors to the park to walk downstairs and have a 'roof' purple flower over her head. Its old flower-filled branches are supported to create a big, beautiful canopy of tumbling flowers that’s one of the prettiest things you’ll ever see allowing visitors to walk having a purple flower 'roof' over their heads.
The other major attractions of the park are the three huge wisteria trellises that stretch for more than 100m2, a very rare double trellis of wisteria petals and the 80-meter Fuji tunnel, so colored to enchant the eyes.
If you go by train, remember to get off at Ashikaga station, from there walk for 500 meters till the park entrance. Instead, the best time of year to appreciate the flower wisteria is from mid-April to mid-May. Although in Ashikaga park you cannot get bored: the variety of trees and flowers is such that it worth visiting in any season: plum blossoms in February-March, hydrangeas in June-July, the lotus flowers from May to October, purple sage in October-November, and roses in May-June and September-November.