The internationally famous garden in Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka Prefecture is a must-see for everyone at least once in their lives.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Kawachi Fujien (literally: “Kawachi Wisteria Garden”) has the ability to cleanse the soul. A veritable “power spot,” the garden was even chosen late last year by America’s CNN channel as one of Japan’s 31 most beautiful places.

Kawachi Fujien first opened in April of 1977 inside a ravine located within Kitakyushu’s Yahatahigashi Ward. The site annually draws visitors from around the world between mid-April and mid-May when the garden positively bursts with wisteria blossoms, and again from mid-November through early December when the onset of colder weather ushers in spectacular fall foliage. Peak times each year to see the flowers and leaves aren’t publicly released in an effort to avoid overwhelming local neighborhoods with an influx of camera-toting tourists.

▼ Overflowing wisteria flowers from the garden’s Facebook page

RocketNews24 has covered Kawachi Fujien on previous occasions, but this year, a team of our Japanese reporters decided it was high time to check out the garden’s famous “wisteria tunnel” for themselves. With no information about the current state of the blossoms, they took a gamble and hopped on a train south to Fukuoka earlier this week.




Alas! They arrived a bit too early in the season this year to capture the garden at its peak, as the flowers were only about 40% in bloom. Nevertheless, our writers were charmed by the early blossoms, and took the opportunity to take a leisurely stroll and drink in the sight and scent of the open blossoms.




In total, Kawachi Fujien boasts 22 species of wisteria in a variety of colors and shapes. When they’re all in full bloom, we imagine the sight of so many flowers in person must completely dazzle the senses, especially while walking under the expansive trellis system.






▼ Tree-lined paths, fresh air, and a healing atmosphere




Even though they’d arrived before the garden’s peak blooming time, our reporters were delighted to enjoy the early splash of color with far fewer visitors than usual.



▼ “For you in (almost) full blossom”



Visitors should note that between April 23-May 8, pre-purchased tickets sold at convenience stores (Seven Eleven, Family Mart, Circle K, Sunkus) are required for entry to the garden for a limit of two hours. Prices are staggered depending on how close the flowers are to peak bloom. During the early and late periods, tickets are 500 yen (US$4.70) each. When the flowers are 50% open, tickets are 1,000 yen each, and, during the peak period, tickets are 1,500 yen each. High school-aged students and below are allowed free admission. In addition, free parking is available for 200 cars, and shuttle buses run from nearby JR Yahata Station every hour. Tickets are sure to go fast now that the Golden Week holidays are upon us, so get yours soon!

Garden Information
Kawachi Wisteria Garden / 河内藤園
Address: Fukuoka-ken, Kitakyushu-shi, Yahatahigashi-ku, Kawachi 2-2-48
Open: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Admission: 500-1,500 yen
Tel: 093-652-0334

All images © RocketNews24
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