Wisteria of Japan: a story of mystery and madness

The Great Wisteria Festival in Japan is celebrated around late April to early May, just right after the cherry blossoms have withered their last petals.

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If I ask you this question, " what flowers have their own festival in the Japan?" You would probably immediately say cherry blossoms, you might even utter sun flowers and roses. You're correct! But I'm pretty sure that last type of flower you would mention is wisteria. And if the word "wisteria" sounds familiar, you probably heard it from that ratchet yet highly engaging show, Desperate Housewives. Remember Teri Hatcher and her other middle aged friends who lived in Wisteria Lane?

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The Great Wisteria Festival in Japan (at Ashikaga-shi, Tochigi - about 2 hours train ride from Tokyo) is celebrated around late April to early May, just right after the cherry blossoms have withered their last petals. You're probably looking at the photos attached in this write up thinking, "okay so these flowers are violet and they're grown like vines, nothing special" Well allow me to convince you that these flowers are indeed special. First, their fragrance enveloped the entire farm where the festival is. The smell is like that perfume that an old lady wears to Sunday church, classic and hard for the nose to ignore.

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Second and perhaps the most interesting fact about wisteria is that they're the flowers of the obsessed. If you've ever been in a relationship with someone who is possessive, you know they make/made you feel like breathing is optional & freedom is not a battle to be won. That's what Wisteria does to wherever it grows. It kills the trees where its stems will climb; it destroys the walls where it will grow in scale; its branches will suffocate anything it can hug. Enigmatic story right?! If that information has ignited your interest about these flowers, then you might consider visiting Japan during late April to early May and experience the beauty of the obsessed wisteria.

ACCESS: The Ashikaga park is around 12 minutes walk from Tomita station of the JR Ryomo line. We took the JR Shinkansen from Tokyo station and got off Oyama station in Tochigi. From there, we transferred to the JR Ryomo line going to Tomita station.

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