Wisteria in Ashikaga Flower Park, Tochigi
While springtime in Japan may conjure up images of Cherry Blossoms, don't worry if you find that you have arrived too late to see those fleeting pink petals. There are so many equally breathtaking blooms to take in while traveling through Japan in spring and early summer.
Japanese Wisteria (Fuji) – Ashikaga Flower Park, Tochigi Prefecture
If your springtime dreams of Japan involve sitting under delicate pink blossoms, Fuji or Japanese Wisteria can fulfill those dreams and then some. A short 90 minute train ride from Tokyo will bring you to the Ashikaga Flower Park where you can sit underneath a blanket of stunning pink flowers or take a walk through an exquisite 80 meter long white wisteria tunnel. When the sun sets, the blooms are illuminated for visitors to enjoy.
In bloom late April - Mid to late May
Learn more: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/regional/tochigi/ashikaga_area.html
Hydrangea (Ajisai) – Mt. Rokko, Hyogo Prefecture
A trip to Mt. Rokko is an excellent way to take in Japan's natural beauty while escaping the tourist packed areas of Kyoto and Osaka. The base of Mt. Rokko, located just 40 minutes from Osaka station, is connected to the mountain’s many attractions (and even the famous Arima hot spring) by ropeway. This includes Mt. Rokko’s Alpine Botanical Garden where guests can stroll past thousands of gorgeous hydrangeas while breathing in the fresh mountain air.
In bloom early June to late July
Learn more: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/regional/hyogo/northernkobe.html
Japanese Iris (Ayame) – Suigo Itako Ayame Festival, Ibaraki Prefecture
Over 800,000 people flock every year to see the nearly 1 million Japanese Iris flowers in bloom during the Ayame Festival. Throughout the festival, visitors can enjoy special events such as festival dances and traditional musical performances. At night, the river that flows through the garden is beautifully illuminated by hundreds of glowing orbs that float on the water's surface.
In bloom late May to late June
Learn more: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/regional/ibaraki/suigou.html
Lily (Yuri) – Hakuba Iwatake Lily Farm, Nagano Prefecture
Hakuba is well-known as a ski destination but in the early summer, the hillsides come alive with the bright colors of mountain lilies. The mountain resort itself has plenty of activities even as the weather gets warmer such as hiking, zip lining, and of course, relaxing in the hot springs. With the Japan Alps in the background and a sea of flowers all around, you may find it difficult to refrain from running through the fields singing "The Sound of Music."
In bloom from early July to late August
Learn more: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/location/regional/nagano/hakuba.html
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