Kawachi Wisteria Garden Fukuoka

5 Best Spots for Wisterias in Fukuoka

Wisterias in Fukuoka, Japan blooms around mid-April to early May, coloring its cities purple and scenting it with a sweet aroma comparable to orchids. It might not be as popular as Cherry Blossoms, but these purple gems are equally striking and vibrant.

So, here are some of the best spots for Wisterias in Fukuoka that you should pay a visit to.

1. Buzou-ji Temple

Buzou-ji Temple was built in 645, making it the oldest temple in Kyushu and it is said that its wisterias are about 1,300 years old. Despite existing many centuries ago, it is well maintained and a popular pit stop amongst hikers in Tenpaizan¾ which is only 130 meters away from Buzou-ji.

The gorgeous wisterias in Buzouji Temple
The gorgeous wisterias in Buzouji Temple

Aside from Wisterias, you could also marvel at some beautiful Hydrangea (or Ajisai in Japanese) in summer at a nearby park—あじさい園 (Ajisai Koen).

Best Time to Go:

From mid-April to early May

Address:

818-0052 Fukuoka, Chikushino, Musashi, 621

Access:

Buzouji Temple is just a 15-minute walk from Futsukaichi Station.

Parking:

It has 10 parking spaces for free.

Admission:

Free          

Note:

When my husband and I went to Buzou-ji, there was a barricade around the wisteria trellis, which prevented us from going under it. Despite that blockade, we still managed to take some good shots.

2. Nakayama no Ofuji

This is one of the most photogenic flower destinations in Japan which you’ll usually encounter on the web whenever you search for Wisterias in Fukuoka.

Nakayama no Ofuji features wisterias that are approximately 300 years old. It is located in Yanagawa City— a well-known tourist destination because of its 870 km wide canals where you can ride riverboats. Studio Ghibli even made a documentary about this waterway!

While you can experience the boat rides in any season, you could only see the wisterias in Nakayama no Ofuji during mid to late April. An annual festival is also held here, where visitors can try out various festival food and buy local products. Then at night, the lamps surrounding the purple blossoms are illuminated, creating a dreamy atmosphere.

It is definitely among the highly anticipated wisterias in Fukuoka.

Best Time to Go:

Mid to Late April

Address:

Mitsuhashimachi Nakayama, Yanagawa, Fukuoka 832-0811

Access:

From Nishitetsu- Yanagawa Station, ride the No. 10, 16, 17, and 19 Bus or bound to 三橋ルートat Yanagawa Mall (Youme). After that, get off at Nakayama (Kabushigaisha Yasunaga Mae) and then walk for about 5 minutes.

Parking:

50 free parking spaces

Admission:

Free

Note:

Nakayama no Ofuji is about 1,700 m2, which is quite huge. However, most people take photos at the bridge, making that area quite congested. I can’t blame them, because it really is the most photogenic part of this place.

The famous bridge of Nakayama no Ofuji
Below the famous bridge of Nakayama no Ofuji

Nonetheless, don’t let this persuade you to ignore the other spots, you just need to be resourceful and imaginative. I mean, it has an impressive size, giving you a lot of space to shoot and to be creative¾ so be original.

3. Kurogi no Ofuji

Located at Susano Shrine in Yame City, Kurogi no Ofuji hosts a massive wisteria tree that is about 620 years old, and the area it occupies is about 3,000 m2, which is more than the size of Nakayama no Ofuji.

It is said that this purple blossom was planted by the Imperial Prince, Naganari-shinno. Then in 1928, it became a Government-Designated Protected Species— among the wisterias in Fukuoka, it is the only one with this title.

Because of its history and large scale, Kurogi no Ofuji has become a famous tourist destination during wisteria season. When its flowers reach their peak, a festival is held where you can see various food stalls. 

Food stalls and wisterias at Kurogi no Ofuji
People enjoying festival food while walking under the beautiful wisterias
Best Time to Go:

Mid- April to early May

Address:

5-2 Kurogi-machi, Kurogi, Yame, Fukuoka 834-1217

Access:

The best way to go here is by car.

Parking:

It’s 400 yen per car and there are about 250 parking spaces.

Admission:

Free

Note:

At the time that my husband and I went here, we didn’t notice any buses at all. Most of the people came with their cars, which created a lot of traffic. This made looking for the designated parking space challenging, plus there weren’t any signs where it was. So, my husband just parked a couple of blocks away from Kurogi no Ofuji which is about 5 minutes (or more) on foot.

Regarding festival food, there are a couple of them in the venue and there are places to sit on. For those who are craving for more choices, some shops and cafes that are close by are open for business.

4. Kisshouji Temple

This temple is situated in Yahatanashi-ku, Kitakyushu City and it’s not far from one of the well-known wisterias in Fukuoka —the KAWACHI FUJI GARDEN. It is said that Kisshouji Temple was built around Kenpo to Genna era (1213- 1224) and the park next to it was opened in 1998— which also has an observatory. Moreover, Noda Fuji (a kind of wisteria in Japan) that grows in this place is around 160 years old.

Wisterias in Kisshouji temple
Wisterias in Kisshouji temple

Every spring, this temple also holds a “Wisteria Festival.” This entices many visitors, not only for its fragrant blossoms, but also for the stalls that sell various products, mainly food.

Best Time to Go:

Mid to late April

Address:

13-11Kisshoji-machi, Yahatanashi-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka

Access:

Its closest bus station is Urata Danchi. From there, you just need to walk for a minute.

Parking:

There are 60 spaces available and a 500 yen fee.

Admission:

Free

Note:

Aside from purple colors, Kisshouji Temple also has some white wisterias. During our visit (around mid-April) the white blossoms were already dried out. However, the purple ones were still stunning and vibrant.

When it comes to festival food, we only saw one stand in this park that was selling wisteria-flavored ice cream.

Wisteria flavored ice cream at Kisshouji Temple
Wisteria flavored ice cream at Kisshouji Temple

At first, I was skeptical to buy one, because I thought that it’s probably a gimmick¾ just food coloring and vanilla flavoring. I’ve tried some food that claims “it’s the best seller” or the “most recommended” item, but they often just tasted “meh” to me. On the other hand, I was curious, so I bought one. And I’m glad I did! It was surprisingly delicious. It was sweet and has a flowery taste that is not overpowering.

I highly recommend this ice cream.

5. Kawachi Wisteria Garden

In 2015, CNN (a famous American news network) included Kawachi Wisteria Garden (or Kawachi Fuji Garden) in their article, “34 Most Beautiful Places in Japan.”

It’s a 10,000 m2 private garden that hosts 22 types of wisteria with colors ranging from white and different shades of purple, decorating a wide lattice ceiling, domes, and tunnels. As a result, it created one of the picturesque wisterias in Fukuoka and must-visit sites in Kitakyushu City during spring.

Because of its beauty and title, many visitors from all over the world want to take a glimpse of this garden. Hence, to control the crowd, a reservation system is implemented which you can do with its affiliated convenient stores — 7-11 and Family Mart.

Kawachi Wisteria Garden was established in 1977 by Masao Higuchi and his family.  It’s only open twice a year— during wisteria season and autumn.

Best Time to Go:

For wisteria season, it’s mid-April to early May. And for autumn foliage, mid-November to early December.

Address:

2-2-48 Kawachi, Yahatahigashi-ku, Kitakyush- shi, Fukuoka-ken 805-0045

Access:

There is a shuttle bus from Yahata Station to Kawachi Wisteria Garden.

Parking:

It’s free parking for 200 vehicles.

Admission:

For the reservation ticket, it cost 500 yen. Then, you need to pay another fee at the entrance. It depends on the status of the wisteria. When it’s in full bloom, it’s 1,500 yen and when it’s not, the price is 1,000 yen or lower.

The slots are quickly taken, so I suggest to book your ticket as early as you can.

Note:

The available schedules to see the wisterias were from April 24th to May 5th. I wanted to get the 8am-10am slot on April 29th, 30th, or May 1st. However, they were no longer available when I made my booking around the first week of April.

Although I was devastated, I settled on the 8am-10am slot on May 2nd and just hope that there are still wisterias on that day.

Purple and white wisterias in Kawachi Wisteria Garden
The status of the wisterias on May 2, 2021

When I visited, my additional fee has been only 1,000 yen since the wisterias at the tunnel were almost withering and the domes didn’t have any. But, the wisterias at the lattice ceiling were still lush and I still managed to get fabulous shots.

For me, Kawachi Wisteria Garden has the most impressive wisteria in Fukuoka.

Regarding the crowd, because we went there in the opening time and the entry is limited, there weren’t that many people. My husband I and were able to take lots of photos with no photobombers at all. We managed to finish shooting in less than 30 minutes.

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And that is my list for the 5 Best Spots for Wisterias in Fukuoka. I hope you guys find it helpful and you’ll visit Fukuoka in spring not just for cherry blossoms (or Sakura), but also for its wisterias.

Do you guys know any fantastic places for these purple blossoms? Comment it down.

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