EDIT : since 2016, if you want to go on wisteria season you'll have to buy a ticket in advance in a combini, choosing your day and hour of visit. If not you won't be allowed to enter. It seems a bus is also running to the garden too.
Japan is very famous for cherry blossoms but before and after, there are also beautiful floral seasons. Camellias , plums , azaleas, wisteria, hydrangea and so on, they all adorn the landscape with their pretty colors.
|It is this way !|
It was one of the places I wanted to definitely go this year and my wish was made Tuesday, May 5th. I so went to the Kawachi Fuji-en garden in and its famous wisteria tunnel.
The photos might be famous but the place is hardly known. Kawachi Fuji-en is a small garden located in the countryside, in the east part of Kita-Kyushu city, in the north of Fukuoka prefecture.
It's been months since I went for the last time to Kita-Kyushu. I really like the city. It is industrial and seems to have nothing to offer at first glance but when you wander around a bit, you can discover that it is full of surprises and have some nice places like the Kawachi Fuji-en.
When we arrived in the garden, we preferred to leave the tunnel to the end and took another path , just as poetic as it is already under the wisteria . I was surprise by the scent of flowers : present but not heady, it smelled really good. Immediately after, the phobic insect that I am immediately saw the huge bees that were flying around. Wisteria attract these insects and the Japanese ones are big !
There were really everywhere and I had a rough time.
By stoping where there were no flowers above my head, I was able to enjoy their beautiful colors : it was the peak of blooming so purple was amazing. There was also white flowers.
Before going through the tunnel, we visited the other wisteria parts of the garden. It was magical but the atmosphere was different than I had imagined : it was crowded and we spent time avoiding people and also the mud on the ground.
I think everyone will agree to say that this place is beautiful but I want to say the truth about this place because there is a difference between photos and reality (although I preferred to show the most attractive side) .
It was really crowded. There are only two small roads leading to the garden and despite we departed at 9am, we could not get to the garden until 1:30pm as it was completely crowded. 4 hours to do less than 6km ... and we left the car halfway to continue by foot.
The garden is quite difficult to access: there is no train station or bus stop nearby. You mus either rent a car, take a taxi or walk from the nearest bus stop (approximately 3km). I recommend the last option because it will takes the less time and the path is very nice, especially on the late part of the course because it runs along the Kawachi water storage.
We went on Golden Week holidays so it was tenfold but do not expect to have the garden for you like in the pictures you can see on the internet, which certainlyare from the time when the garden was not well known or before opening.
Remember to arrive early, when we left the garden around 2pm there were almost a 200m line of people who were waiting to enter the garden.
|Kawachi water storage|
The garden does not have toilets (well , 2 cabins as we can found on construction sites) . There are some all along the road but I have never seen such dirty toilets. It was just awful, probably because the number of people using them. Very rare for Japan...
If you still want to go, you know what you have to do on your next stay. Meanwhile, I would choose another place filled with wisteria for next year .
KAWACHI FUJI-EN (河内藤園)
Fukuoka Prefecture, Kitakyushu, Yahatahigashi-ku, Kawachi, 2 chome 2-48
from free to 1000 yens in high seaso (wisteria bloom)
from 9am to 6pm, from mid-april to end of may and from mid-november to mid-december.
Yahata Station(八幡駅) on Kagoshima line (1100 yens from Hakata) then bus n°56 to Ueshigeta (上重田), then by foot.