Ashikaga Flower Park, located in Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture, is a flower park which has more than 350 wisteria trees. Since being selected as one of CNN’s ” Top 10 of International Dream Destinations” in 2014, it has become a popular travel destination for foreign tourists and more than 1.5 million people visit there annually.
This time, I will introduce the best time to visit Ashikaga Flower Park, how to spend it, and how to get there from Tokyo.
Best time to see the wisteria
There are various types of wisteria in Ashikaga Flower Park, such as Great Wisateria which is over 160 years old, White Wisteria which creates an 80m tunnel, Pale Red Wisteria, and Kibana (Yellow) Wisteria. From April to mid-May, it blooms in the order of Pare Red Wisteria (light pink) → Great Wisteria (purple) → White Wisteria (white) → Kibana Wisteria (yellow).
All the wisteria are beautiful, but among them, there is the Great Wisteria is 160 years old and has a size of 1000 square meters, and White Wisteria, which creates an 80 m long tunnel, along with a beautiful scent and appearance, just like another world.
First of all, Great Wisteria is in full bloom from late April to early May, and White Wisteria tunnel is in full bloom in early May.
Depending on the temperature, the time may change a little, but the best time to enjoy the Great Wisteria and White Wiseria at the same time is the begining of May.
Around this time, more than 5,000 azaleas in the garden are in full bloom, and the roses are about to start blooming, so it’s the best season for viewing many types of beautiful flowers.
At night, the park has an illumination which is beautiful and fantastic, so it is a recommended plan to stay from afternoon to evening.
How to get a discount ticket
Discount tickets can be conveniently purchased in advance at one of Japan’s convenience stores, either 7-11 or Lawson. There is no need to line up at the counter at the park so admission is very easy.
The ticket price for wisteria fully opening season is 2000 yen for adults, but you can buy advance tickets at convenience stores for 1800 yen. The time that they are available is limited though as they are only sold during this season.
If you buy a ticket with Loppi at Lawson, you can find English directions as below.
Access from Tokyo
Ashikaga Flower Park is a little difficult to access from Tokyo. If you access by car, it takes about 1.5 hours from Tokyo at the shortest. However, during Japan’s Golden Week holiday season, when the wisteria is in full bloom, traffic jams on the highway are unavoidable, so it may take more than twice as long. I was once stuck in a traffic jam and it took me more than 4 hours!
If you want to avoid traffic jams, I recommend access by train.
The quickest way to get there is to take the Shonan-Shinjuku line from Shinjuku.
Shinjuku Station- (JR Shonan-Shinjuku Line) -Oyama Station- (JR Ryomo Line) -Ashikaga Flower Park Station.
The park is just a 3-minute walk from the station.
At the station, there is a staircase where you can see pictures of wisteria flowers and you can already smell the aroma of the wisteria, which raises your excitement.
In addition, the special train “Limited Express Ofuji Matsuri” will operate during Golden Week.
Limited express Ofuji Matsuri
The limited express Ashikaga Ofuji Matsuri operates only on Saturdays and Sundays at the end of April and the beginning of May, and then additionally during the Golden Week holidays.
Access is very easy because you can go from Tokyo Station to Ashikaga Flower Park Station directly without changing trains. You can make a reservation in advance at any JR ticket reservation office.
There are only two outbound and inbound trips a day, but if you’re lucky enough to get there, it’s very easy to access, so it’s recommended. All the limited express trains have reserved seats, so it’s nice to be able to relax and enjoy the feeling of traveling.