Kawachi Fuji Wisteria Garden, Kitakyushu
Do you ever see a photo of some whimsical place and think, surely that can’t be real? A number of years ago now, that was exactly my thought when I saw the wisteria tunnel at Kawachi Fuji Garden on Pinterest. I saved it for ‘someday,’ never imagining that some day, I’d be living abroad with my fiancé, spending a long weekend (Children’s Day) on a 1.5-hour flight to Kitakyushu, Japan for a bit of wisteria hysteria.
We purchased tickets to the garden about a month or so in advance (required) for 500 yen each (~$4.52 USD) through this site, and actually purchased two more for the following day just in case. In the end, we decided our one sunny morning there was perfect. *Note: Even with our tickets, we had to pay an additional 2,000 yen (~$18.08 USD) at the entrance as prices for that particular day had gone up from 500 to 1,500 yen.
We flew in to Kitakyushu Airport as we weren’t planning to spend time elsewhere (though Fukuoka is next on our list) and hopped in a taxi straight to the garden to make our ticket time. Fortunately, we were able to pay the fare with a credit card (~$90 USD for a 45-minute ride), though that wasn’t the case for much else of our trip (and Japan gets pricey).
It was worth it.
It was the Japanese flower version of South Korea’s Boseong Green Tea Fields (a must-see if you’re in the Land of the Morning Calm) and the stuff of Pinterest dreams. There were multiple tunnels and domes of wisteria in purples and pinks and creams, accented with smaller pink buds, buds that looked like popcorn, azaleas, and white hydrangeas, all enclosed by hills and mountains of lush green. I almost cried at the floral splendor and sheer joy I felt that someday had arrived. Andrew said it was as if Japan had created the perfect place for me. Even the massive, almost otherworldly bees that stayed suspended about our heads couldn’t faze me (much).
We spent maybe an hour and a half with stops for snaps circling the garden and admiring the scenery, making sure not to miss a section however small. Afterwards, we unknowingly lined up for a free bus shuttle (for Kawachi Fuji Garden ticket-holders) to Yahata Station, incidentally just a ten-minute walk from our hotel.
Watch this space for more of our trip to Kitakyushu, Japan and follow along on Instagram for the snapshots!