Friday, May 5, 2017

Purple Reign

Wisteria Mania Starts at Tochigi Flower Park

The Japan Times  by YUKI SHIBATA/ Staff Writer  May 5, 2017

ASHIKAGA, Tochigi Prefecture--Two great wisterias, both about 150 years old, have bloomed, providing pale-purple passageways and sweet scents for the increasing number of tourists at Ashikaga Flower Park here.

The clusters of flowers hang through trellises covering a total area of about 2,000 square meters.
According to the park, the number of foreign visitors to the park sharply increased after U.S. news channel CNN reported the great wisterias in 2014.

Above: An increasing number of foreign visitors enjoy the great wisterias at Ashikaga Flower Park in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture. (Toshiyuki Hayashi)

The wisteria flowers are expected to remain at their peak until around May 10. They are also lit up at night.

The great wisterias create a curtain of purple at Ashikaga Flower Park in Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture. (Toshiyuki Hayashi) 

Tochigi Ashikaga Park : Wisteria Festival - あしかがフラワーパーク - 4K Ultra HD : Japanese people are very fond of flowers and nature in general, explaining why parks and flower parks are something pretty (no pun intended) common here. While the park is a delight all year long, it is around the beginning of May, and during the Wisteria Festival, that the place becomes incredibly popular, with the hours of traffic jams that come with it.

Named Fuji (like Mt. Fuji,) the wisteria is loved by Japanese people, and this park is one of Japan’s best places to enjoy this gorgeous flower. You can also marvel at its many wisteria tunnels as well as its unique 100-year old fuji, with branches spanning out with an approximately 25m radius.   4 min. 24 sec.

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