Not too long ago, a family friend had sent me a link to an article about this particular sightseeing wonder and I immediately put it on my list of “must-see places” during our stay here in Japan. An opportunity finally presented itself for us to make a road trip from Sasebo up to Kitakyushu to see this beautiful wisteria tunnel, or Kawachi Fuji Garden as its called.
Upon researching this tunnel, I was surprised to read that it actually is not very touristy and not commonly known to foreign visitors (probably due to the lack of advertising; it is difficult to find information on this tunnel). It seemed like such a unique, little wonder that would make for a great touristy area. Although it is said not to be a popular tourist area, the wisteria tunnel was still bustling with the Japanese and their families. Wisteria is a plant that grows all over Japan and the Japanese adore these plants. I also learned that Wisteria is so loved that it even appears in Waka, a classic Japanese poem.
Kawachi Fuji Gardens:
Located in the city of Kitakyushu, Japan, in Fukuoka Prefecture, Kawachi Fuji Garden is about 2 1/2 hours from Sasebo. It is a private garden that was established in 1977 and contains approximately 150 trees comprising of 22 types of wisteria ranging in a variety of colors of pinks, whites, and purples. They hang from their vines, blowing in the breeze, which makes for a delightful smell I can’t even describe!
There are quite a few attractions to see in the garden, including two kinds of wisteria tunnels (one is 80m long and the other 220m long), wisteria domes, and wisteria trellises. You can also see wisteria trees that are more than 100 years old! Walking through the tunnels is like swimming in a flowery scented perfume bottle as the wisteria fall all around you.
The best time to visit the wisteria are the end of April through May. However, depending on the season the blooms are always different. Just be sure to stay clear of the gardens during Golden Week!! There is a small entrance fee to enter the gardens and, depending on the bloom, the fee differs. We visited there at the end of April, when the wisteria weren’t quite in full bloom, and the fee was only 700 yen/person to enter.
Our roots will forever be from here, America, born and raised. Yet, life requires us to move more frequently than we care to count. Whether living stateside or abroad, you can always find us traveling somewhere. We scout out places that you only think you can dream of one day seeing and we seek out those that aren’t found in guidebooks. We then bring them to life here in our travel memos, so hopefully, one day you too can visit them or at least be able to live vicariously through us. This blog isn’t just about crossing off places from a bucket list. It’s about absorbing and learning how other cultures grow and fit into the same world that we do. Life is short and the world is big. Enjoy and get out there!