Yesterday was Greenery Day, a day to be grateful for nature and thankful for blessings. What better way to spend Greenery Day than to visit the Wisteria gardens in Ashikaga? I’ve seen posters advertising the garden at various different train stations, and it has been on my bucket list of things to do in Tochigi.
I didn’t expect the garden to be so far away! The journey was indeed long and tiring with an original travelling time of 3 hours. However, me and my friends accidentally missed our train stop, which added another 40 minutes to our journey. There were 2 train transfers, and the station packed with people. Golden Week is definitely not the best time to travel, but I’d do anything to get myself out and exploring!
One of the things which took some getting use to was seeing the number of foreign tourists travelling to Ashikaga. I have been so use to living in a rural area in Japan where you hardly see a single foreigner in the area. I heard Taiwanese Chinese, English, Thai and Cantonese being spoken around me. I always feel a sense of comfort when I hear Cantonese being spoken whilst travelling abroad. There’s something about knowing the language that instills a huge feeling of comfort inside of me.
The day was long, and we didn’t arrive at Ashikaga until around 4pm. I was slightly worried that we would miss seeing the garden while the sun was still out. But I think we timed it perfectly so that we could see the park during the daytime and also when it started to get slightly darker.
The main attractions at the park are the fuji trees. This particular fuji tree is around 100 years old, and the branches are supported to create an umbrella of beautiful purple fuji flowers. It’s hard to think that the entire ceiling of fuji flowers is from one single fuji tree.
I also queued up intrigued to try the wisteria flavoured ice cream at the park. What could wisteria possibly taste of? It was actually really delicious. The ice cream had some floral taste to it, very difficult to describe. Almost like a rose flavour but not an overpowering taste.
As soon as you enter the park, you are hit by a huge scent of fuji flowers and the smell is really pleasant. I do advise those with really bad hayfever to make sure to come to the park with a face mask, as the pollen can be a bit too much.
The park is very picturesque, especially during sunset. I felt like I was walking into a Monet painting at times. I would love to do an acrylic piece on some of the scenery at the park. There were times when I had to take my sunglasses off just to appreciate the colours and soak in the full beauty of the park.
As the sun slowly started to set, I headed back to the fuji tunnels to catch the flowers with the LED lights reflecting off them.
Probably the most stunning place I have been to in Japan during my stay here so far. Mother nature is truly amazing! Grateful to have had the chance to visit such a beautiful park, and during the full bloom season.
I would definitely recommend visiting this park for those travelling to Japan and love nature. I’m regretting not buying any of the wisteria flavoured omiyage!
Anyways, hope you guys have a great week! Back to work tomorrow for me. Will be visiting a local shrine later today which should be interesting! Will be sure to post about it!