We often associate a “wonderland” with winter, but visiting Japan’s Tochigi prefecture is a whole other kind of dreamscape. When the clock turns to spring, it’s a time when the wisteria trees are in full bloom. The effect is magical; they cloak the landscape with trailing canopies of purple, pale pink, white, and even yellow blooms.
While there are many places you can see the beautiful wisteria trees, the Ashikaga Flower Park will make you feel like you're walking in a fairy tale. It has more than 350 different flowering wisteria trees, with the showstopper being the Ofuji, or Great Wisteria. The incredible tree is believed to be over 150 years old, and it has a massive network of branches covering an area of nearly 12,000 feet. To ensure that it stays secure and enjoyed year after year, it is stabilized by a grid of bamboo poles.
With its history and monumental size, it should come as no surprise that the Great Wisteria tree is heavily photographed. But if you find yourself in Ashikaga Flower Park, there are plenty more highlights to enjoy. Walk the 262-foot-long wisteria tunnel or across an arched bridge that has an awning of blooming flowers. Regardless, you don’t want to delay—like many spring florals, there’s a short window in which you can enjoy them in person. Luckily, there are always photos!