Saturday, May 20, 2017

2017 May: Japan: Fukuoka: Wisteria Tunnel in Kawachi Fujien



Kawachi Fujien
2-2-48 Kawachi, Yahata-ku, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture 805-0045
http://kawachi-fujien.com/
河内藤園
〒805-0045 福岡県北九州市八幡東区河内2-2-48


More delicate than sakura (cherry blossom), wisteria flowers bloom for only two to three weeks during the golden week.  Other gardens can be found in Ashikaga, Wakayama, Hyogo and other parts of Japan.  But, the famous is the only wisteria tunnel found in a private garden in Kawachi.  It was also featured in CNN Japan's most beautiful places.


Public transportation going to the garden is inconvenient, but for sure that its a worth a visit.  Within the three weeks that the garden will be open, best time to visit is few days before the golden week when some of the flowers are still to bloom and few days after the golden week, when some are  just about to turn to light brown.  It may be a best scene during the golden week, but there will be horrible traffic going to the area, the guests will be queuing at the gate and sometimes guests are only allowed to stay for less than two hours inside the garden.  Plus, all your photos will be taken with flock of tourists on the  background.  Also, make sure to watch the weather update as you don't want to visit the garden during a rainy day.  The ground will be wet and your shoes will just get muddy.


Finally (after my first attempt in Wake Wisteria last 2014), on this second attempt on wisteria hunting, I would say it's a successful visit.  I came around the place on a Saturday, day before the closing of the garden.  It is  not clear from the website if they have shuttle service on this date, thus from Yahata station, I choose to take the bus and walk for about 4 km to reach the garden.

There was no queue on the gate, only few guests were coming.  The guide will hand you a non-Enlish brochure and point you to pass the 110m tunnel, but I headed for the 80m instead, which was more serene and has less guests.  Walking along this colorful tunnel will make you appreciate the chance of visiting the place.  You also get to notice the scent coming from the flower vines.





At this time, it's already expected that some of the flowers have already withered or probably fallen.  The ground is still muddy as it was raining heavily the day and night before my visit.



It was a garden enjoyed by families, friends and solo travelers, from youngsters to grown-ups, from locals to foreign visitors.
















How to get here?
Monitor the announcement or notices from the garden owner in their website, if they would provide shuttle service from Yahata station.


As mentioned above, from Yahata station, I choose to take the bus and walk for about 4 km to reach the garden.


  • From Yahata station (Yahata-eki), take bus #1 or bus #43.
  • Drop-off at Kamihon-machi 1-chome bus stop.
  • Transfer to bus #56, drop-off at Kamijuta bus station
  • Walk along the Kawachi dam, which is about 3.5km.
  • Take the Kawachi Spa Ajisainoyu Pedestrian Road, pass by the spa, walk further until you see the name of Kawachi Fujien.


Here are the sights you can view when you choose to walk along:








This private garden opens twice a year, one for spring during the golden week and other would be during the autumn season.  Below is the calendar of notice list taken from http://kawachi-fujien.com (apologies for the text below as these were from Google translate).



If you are visiting for the next Wisteria season, here is the possible schedule:
  • Advance tickets might be available in convenience stores they are partner with for the season, starting mid-March.  There are cases that late/additional tickets (for the golden week) will be available by first week of May.
  • The garden opens to guests by end of April  or one week (Saturday) before the Golden week
  • Advance tickets are required during the Golden week.  This is required to control the traffic flow on the roads and to limit the duration on when the guests can stay inside the garden.  
  • Sometimes shuttle service (for individual visitors) are provided from Yahata Station.  Group tours are not allowed to get in. 
  • The garden closes by mid-May, last day would be Sunday after the Golden week
  • If you like to read more tips on visiting the garden read on Trip Advisor.
Day Visited: May 13, 2017 Saturday


Summary of 5 days itinerary in 2017 Fukuoka Trip:

Day
Places to see
Food and Restaurants
Where to Sleep
Day 1
Karatsu Castle
Old Karatsu Bank
Shopping at Hakata Underground
Yayoi Teishoku Restaurant
Brunch @ Karatsu Station
Hakata Gofukumachi
Hostel Takataniya
Day 2
Wisteria Tunnel in Kawachi Fuji-en
Mojiko Retro
Hostel Takataniya
Day 3
Yanagawa (you can opt for Dazaifu)
Kurume Ishibashi Cultural Center
Our Lady of Victory (Daimyomachi Church)
FUK white mocha coffee
Hanamidori crunchy chicken
Hostel Takataniya
Day 4
Yufuin, Oita
Shopping at Hakata
Shopping at Canal Mall
Milch cheesecake
A La Mode Goemon - Cheese Tart
Blueberry Dango
Hostel Takataniya
Day 5
Temples and Shrines in Gion-Hakata
Nakasu-Kawabata Market
Tenjin Undeground Market
Yoshinoya - Beef rice toppings
Udon Soba with Fish Cakes
Hostel Takataniya