This is my 3rd time to Tokyo and we wanted to do something different rather than just shopping and eating. Since we arrived Tokyo late April, we decided to catch wisteria (Sakura season is over and this year is rather warm and wisteria were already in full blooms).
Ashikaga Flower Park is in Ibaraki Prefecture and requires 2 hours of traveling by rail from Tokyo. The journey is covered by JR pass which saves you a good 7000yen. Just use Hyperdia and search for Tomita JR station and follow the route. Remember to walk fast when changing trains at Oyama since they are perfectly timed. Do not alight at Ashikaga station! After you reach Tomita, it is a 15-20mins stroll from and towards the right side of the station. As you walk out of the station there will be some stalls selling bento, onigiri, fried chicken and etc. We bought some food from them since we do not want to queue for food in the park. They were delicious and cheap! We brought them to the park and had a quick picnic. There were chairs and tables provided in the park, you can also bring your own mats to picnic and enjoy the beautiful sights.
The entrance fee was 1600yen however it can be as low as 500yen during non-peak seasons. The fee is worth paying since the wisteria and azaleas were at their best.
We spent an amazing 2 hours in the park savouring the pretty blooms and great weather.
They have many different flowers according to season and generally is per below:
March-April - Sakura
May - Wisteria, Azalea, Shiba
May-June - Rose
Sept - Sunflower/Lavendar
There are 4 huge wisteria tress - purple in color. There are also many other varieties ranging from white to pink to yellow. Amazing!
You can check out the website - http://www.ashikaga.co.jp/en/wisteria.html
There are tours offering this as a side trip together with strawberries picking. They cost typically about 10k yen per person with lunch and travel mode is bus. However if you have a JR pass, I'll strongly recommend you to go on your own. We didn't speak Japanese and yet we were able to figure our way out. We spent less than 5000yen for two person with JR pass.
Please check out my photos (they look so nice even though they were taken using iPhone).
I think this is the highlight of my trip to Tokyo and it should be ranked as #1...I am just a very "blooms" person.
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